By David Woods

20th May, 2021 | 2:35pm

'Line in the sand' – Keith Hackett claims Leeds have suffered major injustice in PL

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 said that anyone “who knows an ounce of football” knows that Patrick Bamford should have been awarded a penalty in the game against Southampton. 

Bamford was clipped by Alex McCarthy and stumbled, which took him wide and he was unable to score into the empty net.

He could have gone down but tried to stay on his feet, and neither the referee nor VAR thought it was worthy of a penalty.

Bamford asked the referee if he wanted him to dive next time.

Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds News Hackett said, “Patrick Bamford was fouled in the box and he didn’t go down and didn’t get the decision.

“Why do you think players are going to ground? Bamford’s was as much a penalty as the Chelsea one against Leicester.

“My response is that when a careless challenge or foul takes place inside the penalty area, then the referee and VAR have got to get the decisions accurate and they’ve got to be consistent.

“But we’ve got this inconsistency. There is no doubt in my mind that anyone who knows an ounce of football knows that Patrick Bamford was fouled. He should have had a penalty.

“If I’m Bielsa I’m just going to tell Bamford to go down. Have a look at Mo Salah, Wilfried Zaha, Raheem Sterling, what do they do?

“That’s contrary to the spirit of the game.

“What I want is accurate and consistent decision making. Bamford was fouled and he should have been rewarded with a penalty kick.

“The other side is that when a player goes to ground to deceive the referee, and the referee recognises that’s what the player has done, that’s when the referee must consistently give a yellow card.

“This is a difficult area for referees. The only way to improve is to get referees in a group, show them a clip and say ‘This is the line in the sand’.

“I’d then be going to the Premier League and saying that where players are deceiving the referees and succeeding, they’re damaging the image of the game.”

The stupid decision didn’t affect the result of the game on Tuesday but it could have.

It’s so nonsensical when you’ve got VAR that can say, he was fouled, it affected a scoring opportunity, it should be a penalty.

Hackett has got it spot on.

In other Leeds United news, Exclusive: Keith Hackett reveals if FA will ban Alioski for final Leeds game of season