Nottingham Forest write to Premier League and PGMOL over Toney goal | Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest

  • Brentford striker moved ball to right before scoring free kick
  • ‘Clubs writing to PGMOL is embarrassing’ says Gary Neville

PA Media

Sun 21 Jan 2024 20.31 CET

Nottingham Forest have asked for an explanation from the Premier League and the referees’ body PGMOL over Ivan Toney’s controversial free kick that helped Brentford to a 3-2 win on Saturday.

In his first game since completing an eight-month ban for betting breaches, Toney moved the referee’s vanishing foam and then shifted the ball to a more advantageous position before scoring. His goal brought Brentford level after Danilo had put the visitors in front, and the hosts went on to win through further goals from Ben Mee and Neal Maupay.

The controversial incident led to complaints from the Forest manager, Nuno Espírito Santo, after the game. “The law is clear – every situation that leads to a goal must be checked,” Nuno said. “It’s not even a matter of inches, [Toney moved the ball] almost a yard.”

Nottingham Forest have now written to both governing bodies demanding to know whether Toney’s actions, which the player himself insisted were legal, actually constituted foul play. “You have a yard either way so I moved it a bit round the corner,” the Brentford striker said after the match.

Nuno Espírito Santo has questioned whether Ivan Toney acted within the laws of the game. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

The club want clarification on whether players are allowed to move the ball in this manner prior to a set-piece and, if not, why VAR officials were not able to intervene. The defeat leaves Forest 16th in the table after Brentford leapfrogged above them with their first league victory in six games.

The Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville appeared to give Forest’s complaints short shrift on social media. “Clubs writing to the PGMOL is embarrassing!” he wrote on X. “Liverpool and Arsenal started it and set the precedent of this nonsense.”

“The refs should be doing better and are under enormous pressure at the moment,” Neville added. “It’s in the clubs’ interests to work with them to make them improve. This public posturing is unnecessary.”

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