Kyle Walker yellow was the right call says former Premier League referee

An ex-Premier League referee felt that the decision to show Manchester City's Kyle Walker a yellow card after a fracas with Brighton & Hove Albion's Alireza Jahanbakhsh during Saturday's FA Cup semi-final was 'right on the day'.

Monday, 8th April 2019, 2:22 pm
Updated Monday, 8th April 2019, 2:32 pm
Brighton & Hove Albion's Iranian winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh. Picture by PW Sporting Photography.

The Iranian winger trod on the England international as he landed after the City full-back had shepherded the ball out for a goal-kick.

Walker took exception to this and put his head into the Brighton winger's face and pushed forward.

The City defender was booked by referee Anthony Taylor but the incident was reviewed by VAR to see if the caution should be upgraded to a red card.

But, after a lengthy and thorough check, VAR official Paul Tierney ruled that a yellow was appropriate for Walker's offence.

Speaking on Sky Sports News' Football Centre, former top-flight ref Dermot Gallagher felt the City defender showed no violent intent towards Jahanbakhsh but was left baffled by Walker's thought process during the incident.

"I think what the referee has explained to the VAR is what the pictures we have seen have shown.

"He's (Taylor) felt that they've both been aggressive towards each other. He doesn't think it was malicious or violent (from Walker).

"I think Anthony has called it just about right.

"What I will say, I just don't know why Kyle does that. It's just a massive, massive risk."

Former Everton and Arsenal forward Kevin Campbell, also speaking on the programme, believed that the 'occasion' of a FA Cup semi-final may have prevented Taylor and VAR from brandishing a red card to the England World Cup-hero.

He added: "It could have cost Man City on the day. I think it's the occasion that made the referee give him the yellow card.

"That could have easily been a red."