Former referee claims Arsenal goal should have been disallowed

Keith Hackett has claimed that Arsenal’s third goal should not have been allowed, with manager Mikel Arteta having left his designated area to interfere with play.

The Gunners went onto win the fixture 3-2, with the Spanish coach having helped his side to move 3-1 up with his action on the sidelines before a late consolation goal for Watford cut the deficit to one.

The build-up to our third goal however came with the ball going out of play for the throw in, with the coach Arteta exiting his assigned area to retrieve the ball before urging his side to get the ball back in play quickly which resulted in the Gabriel Martinelli’s goal.

Hackett now insists that what Arteta did was outside of the law, and wouldn’t have been clamped down on in Europe as it should have been by the PL officials.

“If you look at that clip, the technical area is one metre each side of the bench,” Hackett told the Football Insider.

“You can see Arteta, when he throws the ball, there’s no question he is well outside his technical area. In law, that is an offence.

“He’s well outside his technical area. I pose the question, who is in charge of the referees at the elite end in England, is it the Premier League who have a former director Mike Foster as chairman of the PGMOL?Z

“This is slack refereeing. He’s left his technical area and got away with it.

“There is an issue with managing the managers in their technical area. This is the law. Are the referees going to apply the law?

“At the moment they are not so we see these types of situations. In Europe, when they referee European games they apply it rigidly. That tells you something.

“What he did was broke the laws of the game, no question. But he’s not alone.

“It’s both the referee and the fourth official. His team, on this occasion, have gained an unfair advantage.

“You’re often accused of being pedantic and people say it’s a little thing but have we got a law and are we going to apply it or not?

“I thought it was poor officiating.”

I’m not quite sure what the big deal is with the technical area. My understanding was that the two coaching teams would be kept separated after a number of fracases, but as far as interfering with the ball boys doing their job was a no-event.

Some rules are a little pointless in my opinion, but there could be a valid reason for the technical area that I’m not aware of.

Would there have been uproar if our throw on was pulled back? Could VAR have gone back as far as the Arteta action to rule out the goal?


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  1. If it was wrong for Arteta to have been outside his technical area, the goal could have truly been disallowed. However, his man Hackett seems bitter, as if it’s a personal thing. Is he a Watford or ManU fan?

    1. Arteta could have received a yellow card. He didn’t get into the pitch; how would they disallow the goal. That’s an exaggeration.

      Let him chill. We are not responsible for the poor form of his team, MU.

      1. Yeah right. I had to go check again if Arteta stepped onto the pitch, but no.
        Hackett is just bitter we overtake their darling team. How on earth ManU has so many fans as referees is surprising

  2. Dermot gallagher said allowing the goal to stand was right so who the hell is he to say otherwise.

  3. Managers exit their technical are every, single, match. Sounds like a bitter fool to me this guy. Lets not forget how incredibly stupid decisions are constantly made by the PL refs, far more blatant than this case.

    1. Spot on. Coaches leave their technical areas all the time and it’s never been an issue.

      1. There is no law in Fifa books that says the goal should be disallowed.
        The only thing the ref could do it to give Arteta a booking, yellow for that matter.
        You don’t punish the players for the sloppy defense of their opponents. The ref is confused. He doesn’t understand the rules.

  4. I am curious as to the specific law Mr. Hackett is referring to? Law 1.9 states the occupants of the technical area:
    – are identified before the start of the match in accordance with the competition rules

    – must behave in a responsible manner

    – must remain within its confines except in special circumstances, e.g. a physiotherapist/doctor entering the field of play, with the referee’s permission, to assess an injured player

    It does not specify any sanctions. I suppose the referee could have stopped the match and sanctioned Arteta for unsporting behavior but I can’t see this happening every time a manager or team official leaves the technical area.

  5. Whilst possibly against the rules it would have been terribley harsh and pedantic to have ruled out the goal, possibly blow the whistle as the throw in was taken but hey, did Mourinho get penalised when he ran half the length of the pitch to do a knee slide? No!

  6. I believe Keith Hacket should not be allowed!!!!

    He is just another FORMER somebody trying to earn a crust!!!!

  7. It’s his opinion and he is entitled to it. I didn’t see Hodgson protest too much with Arteta touching the ball and his relay pass.

    Not sure why it bugs this guy so much, or why he feels he needs to make an issue. Ref didn’t stop play, VAR didn’t disallow the goal, so therefore nothing here.

    Let him cry, it makes me no nevermind.

  8. I think the rules would have applied if he did pick the ball in an opposition manager’s spot or technical area, as long as he picked the ball in a neutral area then I don’t see anything wrong with the goal…

  9. “Could VAR have gone back so far….etc”!


  10. Don’t get so bent out of shape JF, VAR is a process, so I’m sure it will get better with time

  11. And what did he say about unnecessary red cards dished out to Arsenal players only for incidents that other teams players never get even a warning?

  12. This retired referee must go and find the nearest cliff and jump. Arsenal played their game and won fair and square. Manchester United got heavy hiding from neighbours, it’s not Arsenal’s fault.

  13. How is it interfering with play when the ball is out of play? Someone make me understand this.

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