Why Mateo Kovacic fouls were not red has been revealed By Howard Webb

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PGMOL chief Howard Webb tells why Mateo Kovacic was not shown red card against Arsenal for his challenges. It was an incident in the first half that largely overshadowed the the conversation after the fixture. Manchester City, however went on to lose 1-0, conceding in the dying minutes. Speaking on ‘Match Officials: Mic’d Up’ this week, PGMOL chief Howard Webb says,

Of course we want to be as consistent as we can be throughout every game among our group, dealing with the same situations in the same way each week.”

“But, of course, all situations vary slightly. We accept and understand this, and this is clearly a poor tackle [on Odegaard] and I’m pretty confident had a red card been given by Michael Oliver on the day, it would have been a very straightforward ‘check complete.’ ”

Howard Webb says Kovacic was lucky to stay on the pitch

Howard Webb said,

There’s a few differences here. The player, Kovacic, comes into the tackle with the right leg, though there’s some weight on the left leg. As he kind of lunges in, the right heel hits the ground and then the contact is a little bit more to the side with an upright foot as opposed to a side-on foot, that we saw with Gusto.

A few small differences that led the VAR to feel that the on-field decision here of yellow card wasn’t clearly and obviously incorrect. Therefore ‘check-completing’ it. If they had intervened, it would have been a re-refereeing of that decision by the referee on the field.”

I do [believe Kovacic was lucky not to be shown a second yellow]. Second yellows are something that the VAR is not able to get in. But he was an extremely fortunate player to stay on the field of play.”

Webb continues,

Of course, the referee, Michael, will no doubt review that and he doesn’t want to have a negative impact on the game by overreacting to something, and sometimes players will be on a yellow card and there will be pressure to show a second one.

“Pressure will come from the players on the field, but you know that’s also true that if you under-react you have a negative impact on the game.

So when he reflects on it, he’ll realise that the second [foul] should have been a yellow card as well, which would have seen Kovacic sent off for two yellow cards.” 

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