Penalty or no penalty? Everton felt very much aggrieved after they were denied a late penalty, and ultimately lost 2-1, against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Footage and discussion of the incident in question starts around 2:30 in the above video. The two managers also share their thoughts on the controversial moment, and I’ve got a problem with something Everton manager Roberto Martinez has to say.
He says, “Clearly, [Federico] Fazio‘s arm is not in a natural position.”
So far, so correct. Go on, Mr. Martinez.
“… and it should have been spotted.”
OK, there it is. “Should have been spotted” implies that it was an easy call to make, and that it seemingly happened right in front of the referee’s face, and that is not the case at all.
As NBC Sports analyst Robbie Mustoe points out in the above video, referee Michael Oliver is standing in the correct spot to view the play. He’s also got a straight-on, unobstructed view of Fazio’s left hand, though he’d have not seen the the ball from the time it went into the crowd of bodies and came off the defender’s held-high hand.
Oliver is also no less than 15 yards away Fazio, as you can see in this screenshot taken from the above video.
That’s not at all to say that the ball didn’t hit Fazio’s hand — because it did — or that it was worthy of a penalty kick being awarded — because it probably was — but is it such an easy call for the referee to make? We must remember that referees can’t possibly see everything on the field at all times, and most importantly, they don’t have the benefit of multiple angles and slow-motion replays to make their decisions.