Wednesday 19 June 2019

Referee Moss under fire after 'TV request'

Referee Jon Moss. Photo: PA
Referee Jon Moss. Photo: PA

Ben Rumsby

The Premier League was last night under pressure to commission an independent investigation into Jon Moss's handling of the dramatic climax to Liverpool's Premier League draw with Tottenham Hotspur after his bosses failed to explain his potentially-illegal request for "TV" assistance.

Referee Moss avoided any action over an exchange with assistant Ed Smart and fourth official Martin Atkinson which was caught on microphone during Sunday's explosive 2-2 draw at Anfield and in which he said: "Martin, have you got anything from TV?"

Moss had been discussing with Smart the first of two penalties awarded to Spurs and whether Dejan Lovren had played Harry Kane onside by attempting to clear the ball.

Match officials are forbidden from using television footage to check decisions other than when trials of Video Assistant Referees are taking place, with Sunday's incident reminiscent of Zinedine Zidane's sending-off in the 2006 World Cup final, which Fifa has always denied derived from replays being used to alert the referee to his headbutt on Marco Materazzi.

There was an identical response on Monday from Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, which described Moss's comments as "misguided" but failed to explain them.

That led its former general manager, Keith Hackett, to call for an independent investigation to get to the truth, declaring the incident had "opened up a can of worms".

Revealing he would have suspended Moss were the referee to have been shown to have sought television assistance during his own time in charge, Hackett said: "A more detailed investigation needs to take place, independent of the PGMOL, to determine why Jon Moss referenced specifically his fourth official and television.

"They can't just dismiss it as a slip of the tongue. That's glossing over."

PGMOL denied Atkinson had viewed television footage or relayed any information about the incident to the on-field officials.

© Daily Telegraph, London

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