• 08 March 2022

Welcome back to the Notebook all, this week we’ve got refereeing controversy aplenty!

Everton and VAR

Everton have become the latest team embroiled in a VAR fiasco, after a controversial handball decision in their 1-0 defeat by Manchester City.

Saturday's incident is the subject of a formal complaint to the Premier League by Everton, over the decision not to award a penalty.

Everton believed Rodri handled the ball in the penalty area, but referee Paul Tierney did not award a penalty. Video assistant referee Chris Kavanagh deemed there to be no obvious error, and so did not overturn the original decision.

It caused outrage at Goodison Park and manager Frank Lampard spat vitriol after the final whistle, claiming his three-year-old daughter could’ve spotted the infringement. 

The defeat left Everton 17th in the Premier League table, one point above the relegation zone, and teetering dangerously close to the edge.

Head of Referees Mike Riley made an apology to Lampard and Everton for clearly getting it wrong. 

An apology, unfortunately, doesn’t change the result of the game and if Everton - a club with a long and proud history, and an eye-watering wage bill - are ultimately relegated, the financial slump would be devastating. Will VAR ultimately take the blame?

British Boxing

Over in the world of boxing, and more officiating chaos. 

The British Boxing Board of Control has claimed it will undertake a full and thorough investigation after Josh Taylor's split decision win over Jack Catterall on Saturday.

Taylor retained his WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO light-welterweight belts after snatching victory against Catterall, but for anyone watching the bout in Glashow it was clear that the Englishman Catterall should have had his gloves lifted.

The BBBoC said it "will be investigating the scoring of this contest and will advise accordingly", but the board does not have the power to overturn the result.

It’s a devastating blow for Catterall, but his time will surely come. For now though, his chance to become a household name - and the earning potential that carries - will have to wait. As with the VAR situation, the potential financial implications of poor decision making are huge, but without any opportunity of recourse for those who have been wronged.