EPL

Paul Tierney will not referee game at weekend after Forest-Liverpool controversy

By Sports Desk March 04, 2024

Paul Tierney, who was at the centre of a dropped ball controversy in the Nottingham Forest v Liverpool match last Saturday, will not referee a Premier League match this weekend.

Tierney faced criticism after he failed to award a dropped ball to Forest in an attacking area after stopping the match for a head injury to Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate.

Forest did regain possession after Tierney’s error, but conceded a 99th-minute goal which cost them a valuable point in the race for Premier League survival.

Tierney has been selected as the video assistant referee (VAR) for the Arsenal v Brentford match on Saturday evening. Sources close to Professional Game Match Officials Ltd insist Tierney has not been dropped.

He is one of a group of officials who regularly alternate between being referees and VARs.

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg, who has been employed by Forest on a consultancy basis as a referee analyst, told BBC Radio 5 Live at the weekend: “(Forest) should have had the ball back. If the referee stops the game, he has to give the ball back to the team in possession. That was Forest.

“When (the ball was) given to the keeper, with Liverpool scoring afterwards, you can see why (Forest) are aggrieved,” Clattenburg added.

“I haven’t spoken to the referee – I’ll leave that to the club. I went to go into the referee’s dressing room (after the game) but he (Tierney) wouldn’t allow it.”

PGMOL is understood not to have received any further correspondence from Forest regarding the incident on Saturday beyond Clattenburg’s comments.

Tierney sent off Forest’s first-team coach Steven Reid after he came onto the pitch at the end of the game to protest. Forest later dismissed reports that club owner Evangelos Marinakis had to be restrained by security staff in the tunnel.

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