Burnley boss Vincent Kompany called it “ridiculous” and “bizarre”, while the club’s co-owner said it was “truly disgraceful”.
The Premier League might be enjoying a staggered winter break but controversy involving the video assistant referee (VAR) flared in the first of this weekend’s five games.
With Burnley on the brink of a crucial 1-0 win in a game of huge significance at the bottom of the table, Luton’s controversial 92nd-minute equaliser – a header by substitute Carlton Morris – was allowed to stand.
There was a lengthy check by the VAR after Elijah Adebayo appeared to impede keeper James Trafford as Morris scored.
But the goal was given the all clear to the anger of the home fans.
“I’m new to this ownership thing, so if I get fined by the Premier League, so be it,” wrote former NFL player JJ Watt, Burnley’s co-owner on X.
“This is as blatant and obvious of a foul as you could have. To miss this on the field AND miss this on VAR is truly disgraceful.”
‘Can’t get my head around decision’
Instead of celebrating a rare victory, Burnley’s fans headed home upset after believing their side had been wrongly denied three crucial points.
“I don’t know what to say to my players. It’s ridiculous,” Clarets boss Kompany, whose team remain in deep trouble – 19th in the table, four points from safety – told BBC Sport.
“We’ll get up and we’ll keep going. It’s not even in my nature to complain about this. I don’t like this side of me. I told the lads ‘I don’t know what to tell you’. It’s bizarre.
“Against Nottingham Forest we had a goal disallowed we got an apology for. It keeps happening. It’s incredible.
“I don’t get it anymore. What is this here? There’s a clear attempt to stop the goalkeeper getting up.”
Burnley defender Dara O’Shea added: “I can’t get my head around the decision. None of us quite understands it and we don’t get any information on the pitch.
“We’re bitterly disappointed with the result. I keep going back to that decision and I just can’t understand it.”
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‘It was the correct decision’
Robbie Savage, who used to play for Burnley’s arch-rivals Blackburn, was at Turf Moor as a pundit for TNT Sports.
“I think that’s the correct decision. James Trafford has come for those all evening and gathered them so well,” he said.
“But on that occasion I think it’s the correct decision that a goal was given. I don’t think it was a foul.”
Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand said he had sympathy for England Under-21 keeper Trafford.
“Trafford is disappointed, he thought he should have got a foul, there was contact,” added Ferdinand.
“I sympathise with him in a way. I think the way the game is officiated these days, the referee will blow up. Contact doesn’t always mean it’s going to be a foul.”
Former England keeper Rachel Brown-Finnis believes Trafford was fouled.
“Ninety-nine times out of 100, that is given as a foul against the goalkeeper,” she told TNT Sports.
“Adebayo is not looking at the ball, he’s not looking to play the ball and he impedes James Trafford.
“Has it interfered with the goalkeeper? Yes, absolutely.”
‘I’d be disappointed’ – Luton boss Edwards
Luton boss Rob Edwards was understandably the happier of the two managers at full-time – even though the Hatters remain in the relegation zone.
“I think if I’m being honest if it’s against me I’d be very disappointed like they are,” he said when asked about the equaliser.
“But if it had been disallowed it would have been quite soft.
“It’s a difficult one. I’m pleased they made that decision, clearly, because it got us a point but I understand their frustrations.”
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