David Moyes described the decision to send Fabian Balbuena off in West Ham’s 1-0 defeat by Chelsea as “rubbish” and “made by somebody who has never played the game.”
With 10 minutes remaining, West Ham were reduced to 10 men following a baffling dismissal as Balbuena’s studs caught Chilwell’s calf after following through with a clearance.
After referee Chris Kavanagh was told by VAR Michael Oliver to consult the pitchside monitor to view the incident, which seemed an unavoidable action from the West Ham defender, Balbuena was shown a red card.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Moyes said: “I think it’s a decision made by somebody who’s never played the game. I don’t know where Fabi Balbuena is supposed to plant his foot.
“If they do think that, you’ll look at the one a few minutes later, with Coufal and Rudiger, a similar challenge, but they never did anything about it.
I’ve seen some bad refereeing decisions this season but that Balbuena red card was quite something #WHUCHE
— Alan Smith (@9smudge) April 24, 2021
“I don’t know how it’s a red card. I don’t know where he’s supposed to plant his foot. I don’t think for one minute there’s a bit of malice in that. I thought it was a rubbish decision.”
Asked in his post-match press conference if he will appeal the decision, Moyes said: “You get no decision from the Premier League. The big thing for me is it’s just a really rank, rotten decision. And it shouldn’t have been given.
“I just thought it was a really poor decision. I don’t know who stopped the game, I thought it was supposed to be clear and obvious.
“The players cleared it, and planted his foot. Obviously we don’t want it to be planted in another player’s leg, but where else can he put his foot.
“It’s not a red card. Chilwell got up after rolling about and then crossed the ball in the box, so it couldn’t have been too bad.
“I think the refs I this country are really good, and I don’t think they’re refereeing the game as they should be, and that’s only coming from the top.
“I can understand the referee making the mistake, but somebody looking that at on a screen and seeing that as a red card, and then the refereeing agreeing, I find that incredible. It’s so bad, so bad.
“But that’s the world we’re in. If it’s going to be no contact it’s going to be no fun, the sport will be poor. The referees can change it. They’re the only people who can stand up and do it, but whoever they’re taking their orders from, it’s not very good.”
Balbuena guilty of kicking football
Sky Sports’ Gerard Brand:
“Surely not” was the feeling around The London Stadium as Chris Kavanagh jogged to the pitchside monitor to review Fabian Balbuena’s ‘foul’ on Ben Chilwell in West Ham’s 1-0 defeat by Chelsea.
But there are absolutely no sureties given the current state of officiating in the Premier League.
Balbuena was guilty of kicking a football.
Hammers boss David Moyes described it as “rank, rotten and rubbish”, but with an almost apathetic tone. Many have given up on VAR and hold no hope that the situation will improve.
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But at the end of a week where football’s biggest stakeholders – the fans, players and coaches – tasted victory against a plan that would have disenfranchised so many, VAR and the scrupulous implementation of rules poses its own threat. This isn’t football, and its long-term impact is really quite worrying.
Either the rules change – wait, I think we’ve tried that – or common sense is introduced. Moyes said this was a decision made by somebody who has never played the game; suggestions of having an ex-footballer on hand when decision are made in Stockley Park may improve the situation, but the authorities seem scared to rely on a common sense approach.
At the moment, football is being ruled like a criminal trial. It needn’t be treated so seriously. A balance between entertainment, fairness and sense needs to be struck. We’re miles away at the moment.