Referee Viktor Kassai got it all wrong … but if Raheem Sterling told him it was not a penalty, officials may still have given the spot kick
- Raheem Sterling kicked the turf but Viktor Kassai incorrectly awarded penalty
- Shakhtar Donetsk players were incredulous at the decision on Wednesday night
- Referee Kassai had until he restarted play to change his mind if he wanted to
Mark Clattenburg for the Daily Mail
It would have been an incredible act of sportsmanship Raheem Sterling told Viktor Kassai that he was wrong to give Manchester City a penalty.
Then, it is not enough to convince the Hungarian official to change his mind. Referees can overrule their own decisions until the moment that play restarts.
Had a bad adamant that it was not a penalty, Kassai could have claimed his time and consulted with his assistants.
Raheem Sterling kicked the turf and tumbled over but it was adjudged to have been a foul
But if the referee was still certain he had made the right call, he could stick with his original decision.
A 21-year-old Robbie Fowler was involved in a similar incident in 1997. Liverpool was awarded a penalty against Arsenal after the striker skipped over David Seaman and went down.
Fowler showed great honesty to tell Gerald Ashby that there had been no contact but could not convince him to change his mind.
Viktor Kassai (left) could have changed his mind up until the point that play restarted
Wednesday night's incident only highlights how VAR would benefit our game.
Kassai was poorly positioned to judge whether Sterling had been fouled.
He was behind the play when he should have a more side-on view.
His additional assistant – standing behind the goal line – was perfectly placed to see what happened.
VAR will be introduced in the Champions League next season. For decisions like these, it can not come quickly enough.
Even if Sterling was an adamant that it was not a penalty, the referee could still have it