Video Assistant referee Mike Dean says he should have advised Mark Cucurella to review Christian Romero’s haircut during Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea.
Dean, who was the VAR for the controversial game at Stamford Bridge, ruled out any penalty for Romero at the time.
Spurs striker Harry Kane headed home from the resulting corner to deny Chelsea victory in added time, sparking ugly scuffles between the opposing benches.
“No umpire wants to go home from a game knowing he should have made a different call,” Dean wrote in his Daily Mail column. “Sometimes in hindsight you realize you could have done something different.”
Harry Kane’s second goal saw the case of Tottenham’s Christian Romero and Chelsea’s Mark Cucurella, and I asked referee Anthony Taylor to wait.
“I couldn’t award a free kick as VAR, but I could have advised Taylor to visit the referee’s review area. Consider a red card. In a few seconds, I should have studied Romero pulling Cucurella’s hair. It was an act of violence.
“Afterwards I studied the footage, spoke to the other umpires and on reflection I had to ask Taylor to visit the on-field umpire. The on-field umpire always has the final say.
“No matter what experience you have and I’ve been a Premier League official for over two decades it always shows you’re learning.
“It’s disappointing for me as this is one incident from our officials on an otherwise excellent weekend.”
Tottenham’s first equalizer was controversial, with Chelsea claiming Pierre-Emile Hodgberg’s goal should have been disallowed after Richarlison was ruled offside in goalkeeper Edouard Mendy’s line of sight.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel was furious that Rodrigo Bentancur was not given a foul on Kai Havertz as they prepared to equalise.
But Dean believes the Denmark midfielder was right to let the goal stand.
He said: “The first equalizer for Tottenham by Pierre-Emile Hodgberg. That was relatively straightforward. I can’t go back 44 seconds to see what Rodrigo Bentancur could have done on Kai Havertz. It’s out of the attacking phase of the game – the Tottenham player got a toe on the ball anyway – so that’s Hodgberg. It didn’t matter if the goal didn’t stop.
“The question was whether Richarlison was interfering offside. Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy saw the ball for me when Højbjerg’s shot went in. His line of sight was clearly not blocked so it was inside and it was 1-1.”
Dean will not be in charge of VAR for the next few Premier League games after being given a break at the weekend following the controversial incidents at Chelsea.
The 54-year-old retired from on-field refereeing at the end of last season but has been involved in the Premier League with VAR.
Cucurella: Romero’s hair pulling is obvious, referee and VAR error.
Chelsea defender Cucurella said it was “clear as day” that Romero’s hair had been pulled, labeling the decision not to penalize the Tottenham defender a “mistake by the referee and the VAR”.
“For me, it’s very clear on the field in the game,” Cucurella told reporters when asked about the incident. “I didn’t see it on TV, the video. I think it’s very clear, but this is a mistake of the referee or the VAR.
“Sometimes the referees have a good decision, sometimes they don’t, that’s not my problem, maybe we have to work hard not to concede this goal in the last minute.
“i saw [VAR] Check if there is a red card in the stadium. It’s obvious to me. I don’t know what happened at this moment.
Cucurella also joked that his hair is fine and that he would never consider changing his style – and that he had no hard feelings towards Tottenham defender Romero.
“I have no problem with it,” added the Spaniard. “The game is just one step but it was probably important because it changed the final result.
“There is no problem for me. I talked to him before the game [Romero]. I have no problem. It’s just one step in the game. It may be an important step because it changes the final result. We have another chance. [to beat Spurs].”
Romero to pull hair to avoid retroactive action
Romero will not face any retroactive action for the incident late in Sunday’s game – as pulling a player’s hair is not considered a foul under the rules of football.
Retrospective action can be taken when either the game or video officials are not immediately aware of an incident on the field and fail to report it in their post-game report.
Had referee Taylor seen the action in real time, the correct action would have been a free kick for Chelsea, as Spurs failed to score in that particular attack.
Unlike rugby, football rules do not refer to hair pulling. The authorities must decide whether the amount of hair pulling is sufficient force to be considered an act of force.
If not, it will likely be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and result in a yellow card.
Conte: Myself and Tuchel should receive FA penalties for red cards
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte says he and Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel must accept any punishment from the Football Association for their fiery clash – but the Italian expects to avoid a touch ban.
Despite being sent off in last weekend’s London derby against his former club, he hopes to be available for Saturday’s visit of Tottenham Wolves.
He and Tuchel argued as Conte celebrated Tottenham’s first equalizer in a 2-2 draw and clashed again at full-time.
The two managers were hit with the FA charges on Monday and had until Thursday evening to accept or appeal.
Conte appeared to hint that he would accept the charge when asked about it earlier on Thursday: “I see the FA have made us both coaches more lenient? And we have to accept it.
“We have to accept and respect every decision. But I think that sometimes this kind of situation can happen. This is not the first time, it will not be the last time when two coaches are not on the right track or disagree.
“But the most important thing is that we have to move forward, we have to respect each other. And for me, the situation ends there.”
Unlike when a player is sent off, Conte and Tuchel will not necessarily face a penalty – even if they accept their respective charges.
Asked if he was in line to join Wolves, Conte said he was confident he would escape the ban: “I hope so, I think it’s right.”
“It was right that I stayed in my place. I will definitely repeat it after a situation like this, but you can learn a lot, but at the same time I was very good at staying calm in many situations and I don’t think I overreacted. In the situation.”