Referees’ chief Howard Webb comes to the defence of VAR as he writes to Nottingham Forest following their complaint over Ivan Toney moving the ball before scoring in defeat at Brentford

  • Nottingham Forest sought an explanation over Ivan Toney’s free-kick in 3-2 win
  • The Brentford star moved the ball before he scored against Forest on Saturday
  • Forget complaining, Nottingham Forest should write a letter to players in THAT wall and tell them: ‘You’re fools’ – It’s All Kicking Off 

Referees chief Howard Webb has written to Nottingham Forest with a strong defence of VAR Michael Salisbury’s failure to intervene following Ivan Toney‘s controversial free-kick for Brentford on Saturday. 

Forest had complained to PGMOL and the Premier League after Toney moved the ball twice, and even repositioned referee Darren England’s vanishing foam, before scoring on his return to football in Brentford’s 3-2 win.

In their letter Forest described Toney’s actions as a ‘serious missed incident’ and queried why Salisbury had not got involved. 

Webb is understood to have sent the club a reply earlier today offering a detailed explanation.

In his response Webb is believed to have pointed out that under protocols agreed by the International Football Association Board VAR can only be used to rule on errors relating to goals, penalties, red cards and mistaken identity. 

Nottingham Forest have received detailed explanation from refereeing chief Howard Webb over Ivan Toney’s goal on Saturday, which caused ire in Forest’s ranks for its legitimacy
Toney moved the ball twice to his right to work himself a better angle at the Forest goal

Toney’s conduct covered none of those eventualities leaving Salisbury with no jurisdiction to intervene at the GTech Community Stadium.

Forest are understood to be discussing the contents of Webb’s letter internally before commenting publicly, but are unlikely to take the matter further. 

The club have been frustrated by the operation of VAR on several occasions this season, most recently when Wily Boly was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in last month’s 3-2 defeat to Bournemouth.

Webb explained that VAR can only intervene under parameters set by IFAB’s regulations

Boly appeared to win the ball in a challenge with Bournemouth’s Adam Smith, but as he was shown a yellow card by referee Robert Jones the decision could not be reviewed. 

Toney’s actions last Saturday could also have resulted in a yellow card for unsporting conduct if they had been spotted by the referee, leading to more frustration for Forest.

Forest and PGMOL declined to comment.

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