Michael Salisbury, who was the VAR for Tottenham’s win over Brighton, has been axed from duty for this weekend’s Premier League games after the PGMOL were forced to issue an apology for his failure to award the Seagulls a penalty in their 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at the weekend.
The Professional Game match Officials Ltd’s (PGMOL) leader, Howard Webb has contacted Brighton FC to apologise for a officials not awarding a penalty for a foul on Kaoru Mitoma.
Referee, Stuart Attwell failed to spot the infringement on Mitoma, with the official looking towards his VAR, Michael Salisbury for support. Salisbury reviewed the incident and despite what many consider to be a clear foul on the Japanese player was ignored.
The VAR Review is here:
📌 Explaining the Mitoma penalty decision; Howard Webb’s philosophy / PGMOL revamp
📌 Mitoma, Mac Allister handball decisions / Lenglet penalty claims
📌 Brentford penalty vs. Newcastle
📌 Liverpool vs. Arsenal
— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) April 10, 2023
To make matters worse for The Seagulls, this incident occurred when the match was level at 1-1 with 70 minutes played, and was followed up with a Harry Kane goal less than 10 minutes later which won the 3 points for Tottenham.
Brighton had already had two goals dismissed by VAR – the first by Mitoma due to an alleged ball control with his arm, and the second a Danny Welbeck strike that was adjudged to have come off of Alexis Mac Allister’s hand. They also suffered another denied penalty claim when Lewis Dunk was tugged down by his shirt in the box.
As one might imagine, tensions were high on the touchline following an afternoon of VAR interruptions and rulings, and both Tottenham’s head coach Cristian Stellini AND Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi were issued red cards after an altercation between coaching teams on the touchline.
Following reviews by Howard Webb and PGMOL, the decision was made that an apology was required towards Brighton following the latest in a line of VAR controversies. We reported back in February that Premier League referees were calling for the sacking of Lee Mason, following his own VAR blunder when officiating a match between Brentford and Arsenal.
If Brighton would have won the match, they would have bought the gap to 5th place Tottenham down to just a single point. This will no doubt rub salt in the wounds of everyone involved at the club. This latest incident once again calls into question whether or not VAR is helping the game more than it is hindering it, and whether or not it has a place in the Premier League.