Former referee chief says Kovacic red was “not a foul” » Chelsea News

Chelsea have just lost the FA Cup final to Arsenal, and frustratingly it was a game that turned on refereeing decisions.

Giving Arsenal a penalty was only the start. In the second half, having already given Mateo Kovacic a pretty harsh yellow, Anthony Taylor followed up by giving him a second, even more inexplicable caution.

CaughtOffside had an exclusive interview with Keith Hackett, former head of the English refereeing body PGMOL, where he admitted his former colleague had got it wrong:

“The dismissal of the Chelsea player was wrong. The challenge on the Arsenal player was not a reckless challenge and I believe that it was not a foul,” Hackett is quoted as saying.

“The wrong dismissal sadly impacted on the game and made Chelsea’s task difficult.”

Well there’s certainly no denying that second part. Chelsea were already struggling to cope with Arsenal in the game, and the red card made it all but impossible for them to do the same.

There was a further controversial incident towards the end of the game, when Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez appeared to handle the ball outside the area.

In this case, not only did referee Taylor not call the foul, the VAR didn’t rule on it either.

By that stage however, most Chelsea fans had given up all hope on getting any decisions, and were resigned to defeat.