Ex-EPL referee Mark Halsey explains why Damir Skomina got the Moussa Sissoko penalty call right


Liverpool secured their sixth Champions League trophy last night, handing Tottenham Hotspur a 2-0 defeat thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi at the very beginning and very ending of the game respectively.

The Reds were awarded a penalty 22 seconds in the game after Spurs midfielder Moussa Sissoko handed the ball in the 18-yard box, and the Egyptian winger buried the subsequent spot kick.

Referee Damir Skomina chose not to review the incident via VAR, leaving plenty of Spurs fans mad.

Former Premier League ref Mark Halsey believes he didn’t need to as the decision was always going to be the same due to a directive that was given by UEFA’s head of referee Roberto Rosetti in January.

“Rosetti revealed at a briefing before the knock-out stages in January that there were three things, regardless of whether the act was deliberate or not, for Skomina to consider,” Halsey told The Sun.

“There is movement of the hand towards the ball, the distance between the players and the position of the hand or arm. Sissoko made a movement with his arm towards the ball, there was distance between Mane and the Frenchman, who also made himself bigger with his right arm high in the air.

“When you have your arm in a position like that then you always run the risk of conceding a penalty. Under Uefa interpretation, Skomina had no other option and that is why there was no reason for VAR to recommend a review.”

Sissoko clearly is a victim of the rule change that happened in January, but the Frenchman should have known better, and he will now be left to rue his error after it proved very costly in the end.

Tottenham dominated play for the larger part of the game, but conceding an early goal didn’t help, and while they continued to apply pressure at the other end in the final minutes, Origi’s goal landed another huge and final blow.

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