Paul Tierney won't referee this weekend after drop-ball controversy in Forest clash

Referee Paul Tierney, who found himself at the centre of a storm following a contentious drop-ball incident during Saturday's clash between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool, has been dropped by the Premier League for the upcoming weekend of action.

The incident occurred during stoppage time at the City Ground after the referee stopped the game because of a head injury to Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate.

Forest's Callum Hudson-Odoi had possession when Tierney blew his whistle but, when play resumed, he decided to drop the ball for Liverpool keeper Caoimhin Kelleher who restarted the attack for his side.

A couple of minutes later, Darwin Nunez scored for the Reds in the 99th minute, clinching victory and depriving Forest of a crucial point in their battle for Premier League survival.

VAR duty

Tierney's actions sparked widespread criticism, prompting the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) to exclude him from refereeing a Premier League fixture this weekend.

However, Tierney has been selected as the video assistant referee (VAR) for the Arsenal versus Brentford match on Saturday evening, indicating that he hasn't been entirely sidelined.

Sources close to PGMOL maintain that Tierney's exclusion from refereeing duties isn't a disciplinary measure but rather part of the regular rotation between refereeing and VAR responsibilities.

Forest aggrieved

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg, now employed by Forest as a referee analyst, condemned Tierney's decision, claiming that Forest should have been awarded possession as per the rules.

Clattenburg told BBC Radio 5 Live: "[Forest] should have had the ball back. If the referee stops the game, he has to give the ball back to the team in possession. That was Forest.

"When [the ball was] given to the keeper, with Liverpool scoring afterwards, you can see why [Forest] are aggrieved," Clattenburg added.

Clattenburg also expressed his intention to discuss the matter with Tierney but was allegedly denied access to the referee's dressing room after the game.

The fallout from the match extended beyond the pitch, as Forest first-team coach Steven Reid was sent off by Tierney for protesting the decision. Reports suggesting that club owner Evangelos Marinakis had to be restrained in the tunnel following the match were dismissed by Forest.

But despite Forest's grievances, PGMOL claims not to have received further formal complaints from the club regarding Tierney's handling of the incident.

Share This Article