Referees to review controversial decision not to send Pickford off

Referees WILL review decision not to send off Jordan Pickford in Merseyside derby at half-term summit following Everton goalkeeper’s reckless challenge on Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk

  • Jordan Pickford escaped punishment for his tackle on Virgil van Dijk 
  • Van Dijk will miss most of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament issue  
  • Liverpool were fuming it went unpunished by the on-field referee and VAR
  • The incident will be reviewed by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited

The controversial decision not to red card Jordan Pickford during last week’s Merseyside derby is to be scrutinised at the next referees half-term summit.

Everton keeper Pickford escaped punishment for his reckless challenge on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, who will now miss the majority of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury as a result of the tackle.

The Anfield club were fuming the incident went unpunished by on-field official Michael Oliver but more pertinently referee David Coote, who was overseeing VAR for the game at Stockley Park.

The decision not to send off Jordan Pickford for his tackle on Virgil van Dijk is to be reviewed

Pickford escaped punishment but a referees half-term summit will discuss the decision made

And Sportsmail understands the incident is almost certain to be one of a number of incidents reviewed by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body that oversees refereeing in English professional football, at an annual meeting that takes place half way through the season.

Part of the discussion, which will be held via video conference call due to social distancing regulations, focuses on dissecting certain decisions that have taken place during the season, particularly ones that have caused confusion.

Indeed, last weekend’s contentious ruling at Goodison Park is highly likely to be selected as an example during the meeting scheduled for the early part of next year.


Liverpool were fuming the incident went unpunished by Michael Oliver (left) and David Coote

Van Dijk will now miss the majority of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury

Sportsmail revealed on Tuesday that Coote did not check for a possible Pickford red card after forgetting rules state he could review the incident despite an offside in the build-up.

The PGMOL are adamant their official didn’t forget the rules, yet there appeared to be a clear acknowledgement that Coote had made an error after he was dropped from refereeing and VAR duty for this weekend’s round of Premier League matches.

Coote will instead be fourth official for West Ham against Manchester City tomorrow, and is set to be given a Championship game next week.




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