Why Ziyech was not sent off for slap against Spurs after VAR confusion


here was plenty of confusion at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Hakim Ziyech was shown a yellow card and then a red card, before the sending off was rescinded.

Late in the first-half of Tottenham’s clash with Chelsea, Kai Havertz tripped Richarlison before Ziyech also then challenged the Brazilian, who responded angrily towards the Chelsea winger.

Emerson Royal ran over and shoved Ziyech, and the Moroccan then shoved the wing-back in the face. Royal slowly and dramatically fell to the floor.

Yellow cards were initially dished about by Stuart Atwell, though Ziyech was then shown a red card, seemingly under instruction from VAR. However, that decision was overturned and downgraded to a yellow card.

By initially giving a red card, Atwell gave himself the opportunity to then consult the monitor, and decide for himself whether it was violent conduct.

“The referee goes to his assistants, they see that Royal has been pushed in the face but they haven’t seen who has done it,” Sky Sports presenter Kelly Cates explained.

“The VAR, Paul Tierney, and his assistants say that it was Ziyech. Stuart Atwell then has to make a decision one way or another, so he gives a red card to Ziyech.

“Then he can go over to the monitor, once the decision has been made. And then he makes a decision on whether or not it was a red card.

“At the end of all of that, Royal and Havertz have been booked, Ziyech is given a red card that is then rescinded after Atwell has made it over to the monitor.”

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