Premier League release statement following Nottingham Forest’s X post

The Premier League have released a statement following Nottingham Forest’s X post yesterday, in which they stated that the club warned the PGMOL that the ‘VAR is a Luton fan’.

Forest were involved in three separate penalty appeals in yesterday’s defeat against Everton. Refereed by Anthony Taylor, the on-field decisions were backed by VAR Stuart Atwell.

Nottingham Forest released an initial statement:

“Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept. We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they didn’t change him. Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

The Premier League side then released a further statement, asking for the release of the VAR audio:

“Nottingham Forest has today submitted a formal request to the PGMOL to release into the public domain the audio recordings between officials during yesterday’s match against Everton at Goodison Park. The club has requested this be shared for three key match incidents – Ashley Young’s challenge on Giovanni Reyna (24th minute), Ashley Young’s handball (44th minute) and Ashley Young’s challenge on Callum Hudson-Odoi (56th minute). We firmly advocate for the broader football community and supporters to have access to the audio and transcript for full transparency, ensuring the integrity of our sport is upheld.”

And the Premier League have since released a statement of their own:

“The Premier League was extremely disappointed to read the comments made by Nottingham Forest on social media yesterday, following its match against Everton. We note The FA has confirmed it will be investigating the club’s statement. It is never appropriate to improperly question the integrity of match officials, and the nature of these comments means the Premier League will also be investigating the matter in relation to the League’s Rules.”

Nottingham Forest then released a third statement, following the one from the Premier League:

“Following yesterday’s match at Everton, NFFC issued a statement highlighting our concern at the perception of the PGMOL appointment of VAR for the game. This was an issue we raised with PGMOL prior to the fixture because of the fear of the side show that would ensue if anything went wrong with officiating in the game. That fear has materialised, as the correctness of three important decisions against the Club have been called into doubt.

“This is not about individuals but rather how the integrity of the game is seen. We know match officials do not allow outside factors to influence their decision-making and that all referees are required to declare their ‘allegiances’ to PGMOL to avoid any perceived conflict or harm to the game’s reputation for integrity. 

“However, it is clear PGMOL must amend its rule on allegiances to account for contextual rivalries in the league table, not just local rivalries. This is currently not within the criteria but should be. Mere reliance on match officials to recuse themselves if contextual rivalries exist invites conjecture, as some have recused themselves where others have not.

“NFFC stands by its request for greater transparency around PGMOL appointments to further protect the game’s reputation, as intended in PGMOL’s existing approach to allegiances.

“Given the widespread and ongoing concerns, not merely of the fans, players and managers of this Club but of many others and the pundits too, over VAR decisions throughout this season any move which boosts confidence in the system should be properly considered.”

Get Football | Daniel Pinder

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