Nottingham Forest launch bitter attack on referees chiefs over penalty claims

Former England defender Ashley Young was at the centre of the controversy.

Nottingham Forest’s Callum Hudson-Odoi (left) appealed in vain for a penalty at Everton
Nottingham Forest’s Callum Hudson-Odoi (left) appealed in vain for a penalty at Everton (Peter Byrne/PA)

Nottingham Forest have launched a bitter attack on referees chiefs after they were denied three penalties during their costly 2-0 Premier League defeat at Everton.

Forest were furious not to be awarded spot-kicks by Anthony Taylor for challenges on Giovanni Reyna and Callum Hudson-Odoi by Ashley Young, who in the meantime had looked fortunate to escape a handball decision with VAR official Stuart Attwell backing the referee.

Minutes after the final whistle, the relegation-threatened club posted on X: “Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept.

“We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game, but they didn’t change him. Our patience has been tested multiple times.

“NFFC will now consider its options.”

The PA news agency understands the Football Association is aware of the post and is investigating and has contacted the PGMOL – Professional Game Match Officials Limited – for comment.

Forest’s post received a scathing response from Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, who accused the club of lacking “class”.

Carragher said: “It tells you where we are with the Premier League now and the clubs. Stuart Attwell and Anthony Taylor have had an horrific day today, awful, and they should be rightly criticised for that and that could have real implications for Nottingham Forest.

“I get the frustration, but that, what I’ve just read there on social media, that’s like a fan in a pub. That is embarrassing from Nottingham Forest. I get the frustration.

“That rubbish that VAR’s a Luton fan – you can’t get involved in that. You’ve got to show a little bit of class if you’re a football club.

“I get it, the frustration – the officials had an awful day, terrible – but you can’t get involved in that, that’s nonsense.”

Fellow pundit Gary Neville, who described the suggestion about the VAR as “ridiculous”, added: “It’s horrendous the statement by that football club and it lets the proud history of that club down.”