Everton have written to Richard Masters, the Premier League’s CEO, demanding an apology for the Rodri handball fiasco.
Everton are still bitter from their most recent result as they suffered an undeserving loss to Premier League leaders Manchester City. The Toffees were visibly the better team on the pitch for most of the game and yet ended up on the losing side, courtesy of a solitary Phil Foden goal, caused by an unfortunate error by defender Michael Keane.
After the champions took the lead, Rodri was involved in a controversial incident when he appeared to have handled the ball in the box, as Everton players pleaded for a penalty. Initially, those calls fell on deaf ears of the referee, but VAR decided to inspect the incident closely.
Chris Kavanagh, who was in charge of VAR duty for the game, took nearly two minutes to investigate the matter and then decided against awarding a penalty, much to everyone’s surprise. Incidentally, Manchester City players looked rattled and visibly unhappy with Rodri, which probably suggested they feared for the worst.
Thankfully for them, Kavanagh did not ask the on-field referee to have another look on the screen and stuck with the original decision of not awarding a spot-kick. Frank Lampard was furious after the game and blasted the VAR official in his post-match comments.
Man City midfieder Rodri was not penalised when the ball hit his arm in the penalty area on Saturday.
Now Everton have written to the Premier League demanding an apology.#bbcfootball
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 28, 2022
Pep Guardiola also conceded it could have been a penalty if the offside call was wrong on further inspection. The Manchester City manager said, “The pass of Dele Alli looks like offside to Richarlison. If it is not offside, it is a penalty,”
The result leaves Everton in a precarious position as they inch closer to the relegation zone. The Toffees are currently positioned 17th on the table, one point above the danger zone.
The BBC has reported that Everton CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale wrote to his Premier League counterpart Richard Masters demanding an apology for the fiasco. The Toffees have demanded the league acknowledge the incident and make amends quite openly. Such a move would bring about some level of clarity with handball rules, which could be described as cloudy at best.
It remains to be seen if the Premier League oblige the request and make the public apology. Had the decision been given during the game, it would have changed the complexion of Everton’s position while having an adverse effect on the title race, which would have massively favoured Liverpool.