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Referees and linesmen slammed again as fans fume at controversy in weekend’s EFL matches

Referees and linesmen have been slammed again as fans fume at controversy in the weekend’s EFL matches with footage going viral.

Two clips have been uploaded to social media and got hundreds of thousands of views, with decisions by officials at Sheffield Wednesday v Plymouth Argyle, and Portsmouth v Barnsley coming under criticism.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore, his Owls players and the crowd watch their side clinch a 1-0 victory over Plymouth on Saturday.

George Byers found the net from Mallik Wilks’ cross late in the second half, the scoreboard showed the ‘goal’, but referee John Busby and his assistant thought that Lee Gregory – who didn’t make contact with the ball, and seemed to move out of its path – was offside, and to use that vague expression ‘interfering with play’.

“The referee [John Busby] said Lee was obscuring the goalkeeper,” Moore explained.

“After a long, really lengthy discussion, it turns out they picked that up from the video replay instead of coming to the decision themselves. For 30 or 40 seconds it appeared it was a perfectly good goal.

“Obviously having seen the video, I think it is the right decision. But it came through that after everyone had finished celebrating what we thought was a second goal.”

Owls defender Liam Palmer added: “The less said on that the better from my side.

“I don’t think you can watch the screen and change your decision but I won’t say much so I don’t get in trouble.

“Thankfully it didn’t matter in the end.”

Chris Foy looked back at this decision and gave his option for EFL’s Behind The Whistle via their website, saying: “The attacking player in an offside position does not touch the ball, so a judgement has to be made as to whether the attacking player interferes with an opponent. A judgement that the attacking player should be given offside for making an obvious action which clearly impacted the ability of the goalkeeper to play the ball is correct in my view.

“The match officials on the day decided on the outcome following consultation – something they are encouraged to do when different members of the refereeing team have key parts of the information that allow them to reach the correct outcome for the benefit of the game. Ideally the decision would have been made more quickly, but accuracy shouldn’t be sacrificed for speed, and ultimately the correct decision was reached.

“I think it is also important to understand that the officials do not use the big screens in EFL fixtures to influence decisions – this was a decision made by the match officials themselves based on what they saw of the incident in real time.”

Another decision from the same game caused a stir…

Meanwhile, there was controversy 11 minutes from time when Barnsley put the ball into the net, only to find out that the referee had given a free-kick instead of playing the advantage, but they got their equaliser through Thomas at the last.

Chris Foy said for this: “I have some empathy for the referee [Andy Woolmer] here – he’s spotted the foul but slightly delaying blowing his whistle to see what developed before bringing the play back, if needed, would have been the best course of action.

“He has blown the whistle thinking there isn’t an immediate advantage which I can understand, and once you’ve blown, you can’t continue. Officials don’t want to stop play unnecessarily and you see many examples of great advantages played every weekend but unfortunately this one didn’t work out, and no-one will know that more than the referee.”

You can see more of Behind the Whistle by clicking HERE, going through a selection of key match decisions from the action in the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One and Sky Bet League Two is former EFL and Premier League referee Chris Foy.

As mentioned, referees and linesmen were slammed again as fans fume at controversy in the weekend’s EFL matches…

@Haighy97: I almost forgot about the offside decision which he gave after the Plymouth defender chested the ball down unchallenged and volleyed it clear. That linesman didn’t have a clue

@jm_bell95: I can assure you and all #SWFC fans, this is going to be discussed on tomorrow night’s recording of the @ArgyleLife1886 podcast and you’ll be surprised, I’m not just going to be putting forward my complaints and disgust from an argyle stand point – worst I think I’ve ever seen

@fittall1987: That’s embarrassingly bad

@adamrichards_1: Wasn’t even the worst decision that game sadly, dreadful display from all 3 officials.

@jamie_davison1: It honestly doesn’t even surprise me anymore with the standard of officiating in the EFL

@NickBucco1: This is unbelievable decisions like this can cost teams points . Something has to change

@Leonswfc_: standard of officiating in this league is absolutely terrible, worst part is this wasn’t even the only wrong decision, whole second half officials just couldn’t keep up with the game, poor.

@paulie86: The standard of officiating in league one this year has been absolutely atrocious!!

@michael_coy: Wow 🤯 @EFL

@shelchenko: State of refereeing in the EFL

@GeorgeD91487695: Worst officiating performance I’ve ever seen 🤣🤣 not even the worst decision of the day some how 🤦‍♂️

@_kieranbl: Another week, another shocker in League One. Awful

@_JordanSimpson: This is just one of the many unbelievably shocking decisions that get made every week in the EFL. Will the standards ever improve?!

@FtblJosh9: The standard of refs in the EFL is so bad, a Harrogate player made a “take the yellow” tactical foul yesterday and he didn’t even give a foul. The Harrogate players looked surprised by it themselves.

@JWYOUFC: That’s very poor from the ref, literally a matter of waiting 2 seconds.

@apwilliamshants: I’m a Pompey fan and was staggered at this (while simultaneously laughing). All I can say to the rightly annoyed Barnsley contingent is that he was dreadful for both teams. Like they seem to be every week in League 1

@JoeBeardsall: No yellow card either to add salt. This comes shortly after a spell where Barnsley have had 5 pens against them in 6 games. Barnsley have not had a single penalty awarded in the league this season and arguably should’ve had 5 or 6. It doesn’t even itself out on this evidence. 🙃

@TheoWatsonTDC: Thats an absolute disgrace, basic refereeing, one of the first things you get taught

@RyanMcGinty02: Referee’s need swift relegations for stuff like this, for example next week he should be in league 2 and pick up less money for the match

@Martin_Ryan23: The decision is a bad one but what communication do you need? He gave the original foul. Wrongly but it’s obvious what he’s done. Doesn’t need anyone mic’d up to know that.

@JJR1288: Shocking decision. Standard of refs in the EFL is dreadful. Cost us at least double figure points this season

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