By Mark Smith

11th Oct, 2021 | 4:15pm

Keith Hackett agrees with Phil Hay referee claim, VAR could cause laziness

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett to the MOT Leeds News team. Each week, Hackett will discuss the big moments from the latest Leeds United games and deliver his verdict on whether his successors got their calls right or wrong…

Keith Hackett has agreed with Phil Hay claiming that VAR is leading to Premier League officials doubting their own judgement.

The Athletic journalist was questioned on the state of officiating in England and insisted that referees aren’t decisive enough.

Hackett agreed and recalled talks with famous rugby referee Nigel Owens, where both agreed that technology can create “lazy” officiating.

Speaking exclusively to MOT Leeds News, Hackett said, “I do [agree].

“I think Phil Hay’s article is excellent and it’s very thought proactive, it actually underpins what Nigel Owens said in a discussion some months ago. – talked about the early introduction of TMO in rugby, it created lazy officials because of the safety net.

“What he did was, he used a tightrope walker, there’s no safety net. There is this danger that you create lazy referees that are hesitant.

Consistency.

Where is it? Rules are being changed every single season and it appears as though it is affecting each of them and the way to apply that.

Last season it was VAR, offsides and handbells, and now it is the simple ability to blow the whistle for a foul or let the game “flow”.

It simply isn’t working and Leeds are being punished more than most.

Looking at recent games, Dan James has been denied two stone-wall penalties against Newcastle and Watford.

On top of that, Kevin Friend didn’t disallow a clear goal against West Ham for a flying arm in the face of Illan Meslier but instead waited for VAR.

That last incident is a clear example of what Hackett is talking about, and it was lazy and gutless of Friend to leave that decision up to the technology when it couldn’t have been clearer.

Something has to change, yet again.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Brilliant’ – Match of the Day duo wowed by what this Whites star has done on international duty