Keith Hackett slams ref for Fred headbutt choice


Everyone has learned to live with the fact that referees get something wrong every now and then, but there is something wrong when they can watch a replay and still make an amazing decision.

In many ways, justice was struck between Man United and PSG tonight as Fred was eventually sent off for two yellow card violations, but he was a lucky kid who survived a headbutt incident in the first half.

Fred clearly headbutted the PSG player – it may not be the cruelest headbutt you’ll ever see, but it’s a textbook red card:

Images from RMC Sport

The referee has his back on the incident so we cannot blame him for not having eyes in the back of his mind, but he was asked to look at it on the VAR monitor before making a decision.

Somehow he made the decision to just book the player, and former PGMOL boss Keith Hackett told Caught Offside that the call was terribly wrong:

“The incident in the Man United game with Fred made me seriously concerned about the drop in referee standards.

“Fred clearly nudges the player who goes down with the usual histrionics on the head while VAR intervened and told the referee to check the incident on a pitch-side monitor because he hadn’t seen the first incident.

“I am amazed that after the check he issues a yellow card. It’s a serious mistake and the worst referee I’ve seen this season.

“Referees must apply the law correctly and an act of violence is a red card offense.”

This final comment is especially damaging because there is serious competition this season for the undesirable award of the worst decision, but it is just unfathomable that he should see this and consider it a yellow card.

It just has to be that he either bottled the decision or doesn’t fully understand the rules, but none of the results are well reflected in the referee tonight.

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