Carragher accuses Forest of lacking 'class' after VAR rant

AFP , Monday 22 Apr 2024

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has accused Nottingham Forest of lacking "class" after the club launched a blistering attack on referees chiefs following Sunday's Premier League defeat at Everton.

Down and out Nottingham Forest are facing a battle for Premier League survival. AFP


Relegation-threatened Forest were aggrieved not to be awarded three penalties as they lost 2-0 at Goodison Park, and later took aim at referees' body Professional Game Match Officials Limited.

The club described the decisions as "extremely poor" and said that VAR official Stuart Attwell was a Luton fan in a post on X shortly after the full-time whistle.

Forest are just one point and one place above Luton, who are in the drop zone.

"Stuart Attwell and Anthony Taylor (the referee) have had an horrific day today, awful, and they should be rightly criticised for that and that could have real implications for Nottingham Forest," said Carragher, now a Sky Sports pundit.

"I get the frustration, but that, what I've just read there on social media, that's like a fan in a pub. That is embarrassing from Nottingham Forest. I get the frustration.

"That rubbish that VAR's a Luton fan -- you can't get involved in that, you've got to show a little bit of class if you're a football club."

Fellow pundit Gary Neville, a former Manchester United captain, said the statement "lets the proud history of that club down".

Forest in February enlisted the services of former referee Mark Clattenburg as a consultant analyst to fight their corner after believing they had been on the wrong end of a series of contentious decisions.

Neville believes Clattenburg must leave his role or risk losing "all credibility" within the game.

"If he sees those words go out, which question the integrity and essentially call a VAR official a cheat because he supports a certain club, then he's supporting what's being said and he would basically lose all credibility, I think, with referees in the game."

But Clattenburg spoke out later to criticise the performance of the officials.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he described the three decisions as "a joke" and said Forest had been subjected to "some egregious refereeing" this season.

"Referees do not make mistakes deliberately but this was mind-boggling to watch," he said. "Why Attwell did not send Taylor to his screen, only he will know."

Forest's post on X read: "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 win for Everton lifted them five points clear of the relegation zone with five games to play, despite being deducted eight points this season for breaches of financial rules.

Forest have been docked four points for the same reason.

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