Cristian Romero: Tottenham defender will not face retrospective action for pulling Marc Cucurella’s hair

Tottenham's Cristian Romero in action against Chelsea

Tottenham’s Cristian Romero will not face retrospective action for pulling the hair of Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella on Super Sunday, as pulling a player’s hair is not considered an offense under the rules of football.

In a controversial final few minutes of the Premier League game on Sunday evening, Romero was seen tugging on Cucurella’s hair as he looked to pounce on a corner as Spurs looked for a late equaliser.

VAR official Mike Dean took a look at the incident and decided it was not a red card foul, nor a Chelsea free kick. Referee Anthony Taylor allowed Spurs to take another corner straight away, which Harry Kane scored to bring Tottenham back to 2-2.

The final left Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel furious at the decision not to punish Romero and award Chelsea a late free-kick, with the German manager pleading that the goal should not have been allowed.

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Romero clearly pulled out Cucurella’s hair just before Tottenham equalised

And because VAR took a look at the decision, Romero will not face any punishment for violent conduct. Retrospective action can only be taken when both the match and video referees fail to detect an incident on the pitch in real time and do not mention it in their post-match report.

Had referee Taylor spotted the incident in real time, the correct course would have been a Chelsea free-kick, leaving Spurs unable to score from that specific attack.

Unlike rugby, football’s laws do not specifically mention hair pulling. The referees have to decide if the extent of the hair pulling is forceful enough to be considered violent conduct, if not it would likely be considered unsporting conduct and result in a yellow card.

Tuchel: Taylor should not referee Chelsea games | ‘Where was the VAR?’

Thomas Tuchel protests to the fourth official after Tottenham drew at Stamford Bridge
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Thomas Tuchel protests to the fourth official after Tottenham drew at Stamford Bridge

In his post-match press conference, Tuchel felt that referee Taylor should no longer be allowed to referee Chelsea games, as he felt both Tottenham’s goals on Sunday should have been disallowed.

In relation to the first goal, Chelsea felt there was a foul on Kai Havertz in the build-up, but Taylor disagreed. Referees have said there is a higher threshold for fouls this season to help with game flow, but VAR didn’t take a good look at it because he wasn’t deemed to be in the same attacking phase as the Tottenham’s first goal, scored by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

A possible interference by Richarlison, who was in an offside position when Hojbjerg hit the ball, was analyzed but his position was ruled to have no negative impact on goalkeeper Edouard Mendy’s position.

Asked if Taylor should never referee Chelsea again, the German replied: “Maybe it would be better.

“But honestly, we also have VAR to help make the right decisions. Since when can you pull players’ hair? Since when is that? And if he doesn’t see it, I don’t blame him.

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says his full-time altercation with Antonio Conte was the result of great emotion.

“I didn’t see it, but in the VAR we have people who review it and then you see it and then how can it not be a free kick and how can it not be a red card? How?

“That has nothing to do with the referee in this case. If he doesn’t see something, that’s why we have people to check for a foul.”

The FA is expected to investigate comments made by Tuchel about Taylor. Post-match comments to the media or social media are permitted if they only criticize the performance or competence of a match official.

However, if the comments imply bias, attack your integrity, are personally offensive, prolonged or particularly unreasonable, it could result in the FA issuing a formal charge or warning, reminding you of your responsibilities or taking no further action depending on the gravity of the situation. incident or background of the ‘participant’.

Tuchel and Tottenham manager Antonio Conte were involved in two separate incidents on the touchline – after Tottenham’s first goal and after full-time – and the FA will look into the referee’s report and the footage of the match before deciding whether to charge both coaches. That decision will be made before Wednesday evening.

Arbitrator’s ruling

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Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher offers his expert analysis of the key moments from Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

Analysis by pundit and former Sky Sports referee Dermot Gallagher:

INCIDENT: The VAR should have given Did Cristian Romero get a red card for his tackle on Marc Cucurella before Spurs’ equaliser?

VERDICT: VAR should have intervened – it was a red card and a free kick to Chelsea.

DERMOT SAYS: I think the VAR should intervene. I’m not sure the ref saw it, I think he’s looking down but I think he’s doing it instinctively. I think he watches the flight of the ball. Look down, but I think it’s already passed. The VAR looks perfect. As soon as I saw it, I said: ‘I think he’s going to get a red card here, he pulled his hair.’ I anticipated the VAR sending Anthony Taylor to the screen. I know for a fact that if Anthony had been sent on the screen it would have given Chelsea a red card and a foul.

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Hojbjerg’s equalizer for Tottenham sparks a row between Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte.

INCIDENT: Tottenham draw 1-1: Did Richarlison’s offside interfere with the game?

VERDICT: possibly

DERMOT SAYS: The logic here is that the VAR will have been asked to decide if it is affecting the goalkeeper. You think yes, I think possibly, they think no. Their logic is that the ball goes very far, it is very far from the goalkeeper, there was also a nick on Kalidou Koulibaly. Considering all that in the VAR, I felt the goal stood, that’s the logic. I can understand how they came up with this decision, I can understand why people would be upset about it.

Stephen Warnock: To me, it’s interfering. He’s in the vicinity, he’s in (Edouard) Mendy’s eye line, I think he leans to the left to see around. What interests me is the distance to the goal. This is not children’s football, this is the Premier League, the elite league, where players hit the ball at high speed. For me, Richarlison is active. I know they say no, but yes, it is on the pitch. This is the rule that drives me crazy. It is in and around the penalty area and around the goal.


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