Former Premier League referee explains why VAR did not award Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane a penalty vs Brentford for Ben Mee challenge
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane was brought down by Ben Mee in Spurs’ Premier League derby against Brentford on Boxing Day at the Gtech Community Stadium.
Those in Tottenham colours were adamant that it was a penalty. David Coote did not initially award Kane a penalty, but fans would have thought that VAR would overturn.
But it didn’t. Mee’s challenge was clumsy inside the box and came at a time when the Lilywhites were trailing 1-0. A goal here would have given Tottenham approximately 40 minutes to hunt for the winner.
Now, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has explained why the Video Assistant Referee did not see it right to overturn the decision. He said (h/t Sky Sports’ Ref Watch):
“I thought both Mee and Kane were grabbing at each other. Kane has got a hold of Mee at the back as well so I think it’s one where if a penalty is going to be given, it has to be an on-field decision.”
“VAR aren’t going to overturn it. There needs to be enough doubt and it’s what we’ll see moving forward. VAR will only step in when it is clear and obvious.”
It does make sense to some extent if we view the incident in light of current PL rules. An on-field decision has to be a clear and obvious error for it to be overturned.
This would annoy fans for sure. If it’s a penalty, it should be a penalty. Of course, not a lot of us would have had an issue if roles were reversed and the Bees weren’t awarded a spot-kick for a similar challenge.
As it turned out, Ivan Toney scored two minutes later to make it 2-0. We scored two quick goals and had around 20 minutes to win the game, but couldn’t manage a third goal.
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One can now only wonder how different things would have been had the 29-year-old been awarded a penalty kick in the 52nd minute and made it 1-1.