Referee urged to ‘re-visit the law’ after clear mistake against Arsenal

Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett has urged Michael Oliver to check up on the rules of the Premier League after his error during Arsenal’s win over Leicester.

The Gunners came away with a 2-0 victory in the end after a thoroughly impressive performance at the King Power Stadium, but the same cannot be said for the referee.

Jonny Evans tackled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the ground just outside the box, and duly received a yellow card for his actions.

That decision has since been scrutinised by the analysts, and one opinion which holds some strong weight is that of former PL official Keith Hackett.

“The DOGSO criteria was fulfilled and Evans should have received a red,” Hackett wrote as quoted in his column at CaughtOffside.

“When I coach referees on the application of this offence, I ask them to visualise the incident and to take away the player who committed the foul in such a scenario.

“Then they should ask themselves if the offended player would have gained possession of the ball and have been able to have a shot on goal.

“Without question in the case of Arsenal’s Aubameyang that would have been the case.

“Oliver should re-visit the law and improve his understanding and application of this law.”

Thankfully, the decision didn’t affect the result, nor did affect the mentality of our players on the pitch and we came away with the all-important three points, but there is no doubt that there would be much more smoke if we hadn’t won. This needs to be analysed however as it could well have had an adverse affect on the result, and consistency is an issue with officials that needs to be rectified.


Tags Keith Hackett Leicester


  1. As we saw with other incidents of a similar nature there is no consistency with refereeing decisions . What makes it even worse is that the VAR officials did nothing to rectify a clear and obvious error.

    1. Failure to use VAR/failure of VAR to intercede is what the real problem is. Referees are human (despite the matchday chants that suggest differently), humans make mistakes. That’s undeniable.

      The issue is that VAR was supposed to correct clear errors and it has not in this match (and IIRC this isn’t the only time a clear error wasn’t called back by VAR this season?)

  2. Hes not the only ref. There are many others .
    When I think of past incidents when Arsenal lost
    and lose repeatedly,somethings not right

    1. I find it really disturbing that the Ref didnt use VAR,and the commentator said that he was one of the best referees in England,so many incidents all on Arsenal is something very strange, last season i was watching how 2 handball incidents and a penalty was not given,Simple suggestion is for Ref to give a post match interview like the players so we can ask him the rationale of his decisions

  3. I think the football authorities shd make it mandatory for refs to send off players in the Evans incident as well as using the elbow.
    I dont believe a burly player has no intention to hurt another player.The onus shd be on him to play fairly.Violent conduct shd be red a card incident. No ifs and buts
    If not I dread the day when a player is hurt so badly he has to stop playing like Eduardo

  4. This incident and others occurring thus far in the EPL, do nothing else but reinforce the opinion that the standard of refereeing is well below the minimum standard the completion deserves or requires.
    The refereeing in Scotland is worse and they don’t have VAR!

  5. The refreeing standards are very low in one of the most popular football leagues in the world. The Evans foul on Auba deserved a straight red and would have got a straight red had it been committed in Spain or Italy leagues. Also more disturbingly or coincidentally so many decisions are not given in Arsenal’s favor.

  6. Second incident involving Arsenal. The first where Saka was hacked down went ‘unpunished’ and cost us two valuable points. Fortunately last weekend’s incident had no effect. If both incidents were caused by Arsenal players I am sure the rec card would be out without hesitation. The anti Arsenal mentality exists within the refereeing community.

    1. Yes the anti Arsenal campaign by the officials has raged on for decades. That’s why I don’t take serious our fans who disparage Arsenal because of our league position at the end of each season. Everybody knows Arsenal lose stupendous amounts of points due to negative officiating, yet they ignore that.

  7. Why hasn’t var intervened in both incidents is quite appalling, I do believe var has been used correctly in so many situations but sometimes it’s inconsistent in some situations has given advantage to other teams

  8. These refs think they are God.They are getting away with muder each week.
    Its about time they are held accountable.
    If not more such incidents of elbowing,etc ,could become more common.
    The std yellow and red cards wont do. Believe me
    point deduction will do the trick because the rewards for winning are so great

  9. The teams should have 2 reviews per game as in cricket. If you incorrectly call for a review then you loose the review. That will control thieves like Dean to some extent

    1. I agree with most comments here that the referee community is against arsenal as a football team. No doubts about that.

  10. He is a man of to much weakness cos he does his job bassed on feelings, this is the same to former Howard and F A treat them as the best referees . They always make fake dicisions

  11. We have seen worse officiating in any match involving Arsenal foot ball club but we don’t have to get used to it how I wish strident punishment would be given to the referee after the match it will go a long way in stopping all those urgly incident against arsenal fc

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