REAL SALT LAKE

PRO Admits Error In Justen Glad Handball Incident, SKC Manager Peter Vermes Understandably Furious

Nov 8, 2021, 3:45 PM | Updated: 3:49 pm
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake...
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY – Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes is furious with the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) following his team’s 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on decision day.

“The travesty that happened here tonight also affects other teams as well,” Vermes noted in his post-game press conference. “Because they are expecting the game to be played correctly and that is always incumbent upon the officials.”

Vermes continued to suggest that the officiating crew, including the members of VAR, are “not able to referee at this level.”

Damir Kreilach’s 95th-minute game-winner sealed all three points for Real Salt Lake and catapulted the Claret & Cobalt into the MLS Playoffs. The result eliminated LA Galaxy from the post-season while also denying Sporting Kansas City of the first seed in the western conference.

However, minutes prior to Kreilach’s heroics, Real Salt Lake defender Justen Glad looked to have made contact with the ball with his hand. Upon replay, the incident looked like clear and obvious handling of the football in the penalty box.

Even color commentator Jay Nolly was quoted on the broadcast stating that the incident will “likely result in a penalty.” But the head referee Ted Unkel waved the incident off and instructed both teams to continue to play. It was expected that when the ball next went out of bounds that the play would be stopped as VAR continued to look at the incident.

But when the ball next went out of bounds Unkel did not stop the play. The check was “complete” and VAR deemed that no foul play had occurred.

PRO Admits Mistake

“The Professional Referee Organization today acknowledged an error that occurred in the Sporting Kansas City vs Real Salt Lake game on November 7,” the statement reads.

“The video assistant referee (VAR), when checking the play, saw that the ball made contact with Real Salt Lake defender Justen Glad’s right hand, but concluded that the non-awarding of a penalty kick did not reach the threshold of a clear and obvious error, and therefore did not recommend a Video Review to the referee. However, the footage shows clear movement to the ball by the right hand of Glad, in a manner which can reasonably be interpreted as being consistent with a handball offense.”

“In PRO’s judgment, a Video Review should have been recommended and a penalty kick awarded. PRO considers the decision not to recommend a review to be an error by the VAR,” the statement added.

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