By David Woods

19th Oct, 2020 | 2:13pm

Sky Sports journalist & Phil Hay comment on controversy building ahead of Leeds v Wolves

There’s growing controversy surrounding the decision made by VAR official David Coote on Saturday ahead of the Leeds United v Wolves clash on Monday night. 

Coote decided no action needed to be taken against Jordan Pickford after a terrible tackle against Virgil van Dijk in the Merseyside derby.

Van Dijk was adjudged offside but the following tackle was ignored. Van Dijk is now facing surgery and could be out for the season.

The Premier League has said that there will be no retrospective action because the incident was seen at the time.

Coote is the referee for the game at Elland Road tonight and the referee from Saturday Michael Oliver is on VAR duty at Stockley Park.

Ahead of the game, it’s been the main topic among pundits and journalists, with Danny Murphy saying that Coote should be pulled from the game.

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Independent journalist Miguel Delaney highlighted some analysis on it from Jamie Carragher and Athletic journalist Phil Hay said, “If they red card him like they should have done, the sting gets taken out of it. Incredibly poor decision,”

Sky Sports journalist Kelly Cates asked Hay if Coote was the referee at Elland Road tonight and when he said he was, Cates sent ‘eyes’ and ‘fingers crossed’ emojis back.

Red incoming?

There’s a reason why people are talking about Coote refereeing the game tonight and the fact that Oliver is on VAR duty makes it even worse.

On the Hawksbee and Jacobs show (talkSPORT, Monday, 1pm), Ian Jacobs said he hoped there wouldn’t be any tough tackles in the game tonight or someone would get sent off.

He said it’s the way it goes, that when a mistake is identified, officials go out of their way to correct it in the next game.

There’s a huge amount of focus on the Pickford/Van Dijk incident and hardly anyone has come out and said that Pickford shouldn’t have seen red.

When you’ve got Gary Neville watching a replay in real-time and saying it should be red, and watching the incident on Sky, it’s scarcely believable nothing was done at the time.

And as it was seen the Premier League can’t do anything after. It’s a ludicrous state of affairs.

All we can hope is that Coote doesn’t go out of his way to right a wrong at Elland Road and make things even worse.

The last thing we need is for Leeds to lose a player like Kalvin Phillips because Coote needs to show he can be strong on the pitch.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Absurd’ – Nuno hits out as Wolves preparations for Leeds clash hit hard