EPL

Nottingham Forest’s response to VAR controversy ‘too emotional’ – Stuart Broad

By Sports Desk April 23, 2024

Former England bowler Stuart Broad has criticised Nottingham Forest’s response to the VAR controversy at Sunday’s Premier League match against Everton as “slightly too emotional”.

Broad, the second-highest England Test wicket-taker, was made a CBE for services to cricket during a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday, and is a long-time fan of the football club.

Following Forest’s 2-0 loss at Everton, the club risked Football Association and Premier League sanction over their extraordinary response to three rejected penalty appeals.

In a statement on Sunday, the club said there had been “three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept”, adding: “We warned the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game, but they didn’t change him.”

On Tuesday, it was announced that the club would be given the opportunity to privately hear the VAR audio connected to the three penalty claims.

When asked about his thoughts on the VAR incident, Broad said: “Obviously, there’s been some natural frustration from everyone at Nottingham Forest: owners, players, manager fans, supporters, my friendship group are frustrated.

“I think it’s not just from the weekend, I think the frustration is built over the season, to be honest, from the decisions that the club have had.

“I think the statement straight after the game was probably quite emotional and maybe slightly misaligned with how the club would normally operate.”

Referring to the club’s statement on X, formerly Twitter, in which they claimed VAR Stuart Attwell “was a Luton fan”, Broad said: “Personally, I think that’s got nothing to do with the decision-making. I think it was just poor decision-making.

He continued: “I don’t mind the club showing emotion and passion because ultimately, that’s what sport’s about, but I think some of the words were slightly too emotional.”

Broad, 37, announced he was retiring from cricket during the fifth Ashes Test last summer and bowed out in spectacular fashion.

He hit a six off his final ball and took the final wicket as England won the match to level the series, although Australia retained the urn.

He came second in the public vote for the BBC’s 2023 Sports Personality of the Year in December and has been focusing on fatherhood and television punditry.

After the ceremony he said retirement had been “scary” but that he wanted to continue to “stay connected” to the sport.

When asked what was next, Broad said: “I want to stay in the game.

“It’s a great hobby of mine, it’s probably something I know the most about in the world, in my world, so I want to be able to share that feedback, whether that’s coaching, whether that’s punditry and commentary that I enjoy.

“But stay connected to the game, you know, I love it.”

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