EPL

Nottingham Forest want VAR audio to be released after rejected penalty claims

By Sports Desk April 22, 2024

Nottingham Forest have asked for the VAR audio to be released concerning three key decisions that went against them in their match at Everton on Sunday.

Forest issued an extraordinary post on social media soon after the final whistle in their 2-0 Premier League defeat at Goodison Park, criticising the decision to reject three penalty claims.

The club said they had “warned” Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) that VAR Stuart Attwell “was a Luton fan”, but that the referees’ body did not change the appointment.

Sources have told the PA news agency that Forest’s referee analyst Mark Clattenburg did contact PGMOL chief of refereeing Howard Webb on Friday to share that the club thought manager Nuno Espirito Santo might be asked about Attwell by the media, but insist there was no request to change the appointment.

Forest have now called for the audio between Attwell and on-field referee Anthony Taylor to be made public.

“Nottingham Forest has today submitted a formal request to the PGMOL to release into the public domain the audio recordings between officials during yesterday’s match against Everton at Goodison Park,” Forest’s statement read.

“The club has requested this be shared for three key match incidents – Ashley Young’s challenge on Giovanni Reyna (24th minute), Ashley Young’s handball (44th minute) and Ashley Young’s challenge on Callum Hudson-Odoi (56th minute).

“We firmly advocate for the broader football community and supporters to have access to the audio and transcript for full transparency, ensuring the integrity of our sport is upheld.”

PGMOL has been contacted for comment.

PGMOL did agree to a request from Liverpool earlier this season to release the audio connected to the decision to disallow a Luis Diaz goal at Tottenham.

On that occasion, miscommunication between the VAR and the referee led to the goal wrongly being disallowed.

Audio of other selected incidents has also been broadcast during episodes of the ‘Match Officials Mic’d Up’ programme during the season, but the laws of the game prevent such audio being broadcast live.

Forest issued a statement on X on Sunday which 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.”

Clattenburg later wrote in a Daily Mail column: “One of these errors would have been bad enough.

“Three was a joke, and that is why Nottingham Forest were left feeling victimised after another defeat in which zero big decisions went their way.

“In a season where they have had to endure some egregious refereeing, this trip to Everton was as grim a game as they have encountered since returning to the Premier League.”

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