Everton Football Club has received an apology from the Premier League’s head of referees Mr. Mike Riley following failures of center referee and VAR officials to award the club an injury time penalty on Saturday against Manchester City.
Referee Paul Tierney had missed the incident completely and VAR Chris Kavanagh didn’t see enough evidence to confirm if City midfielder Rodrigo had handled in the area, but replays showed obvious handball as the Spaniard tried to balance the ball before a clear out.
Riley, the general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), which oversees all refereeing in England personally called Everton Chairman to apologize for the error as well as Frank Lampard.
The Toffees were robbed of an opportunity to equalize from the spot and earn a point that would help their cause as they battle against the drop.
"There is no doubt, there is no probably to it," Lampard said after the game. "The decision is incredible, incredible, and that loses us the opportunity to get what we deserved.
"That's a VAR call. That's Chris Kavanagh, I spoke to the referee and they know it is a penalty, the question is that is it offside and it wasn't.
"That's the reason we have VAR. It wouldn't have needed more than five seconds to know it was a penalty. He [Kavanagh] should have either told the referee to give it or told him to go look at it.
"We've lost a point because of a professional who cannot do his job right. You start searching for whys and I can't think why. It is so incompetent to get it wrong.
"Pep [Guardiola] will know, Everton fans will know, Man City fans will know, it was the clearest penalty you could give: arm is out -- great, below the sleeve -- great, I was waiting for the penalty.
"Incompetence at best, at worst who knows? I'll wait for the statement or apology they do when things are wrong but it will mean nothing."
Social media was agog with ex-players and pundits having a go at the referee and his assistants over such miss, with many wondering if at the end of the day, a point relegates Everton or awards the title to City, where would the match officials hide?