Former Premier League referee Clattenburg explains why Amartey escaped VAR punishment in Crystal Palace tie

Daniel AmarteyGetty

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg believes Leicester City defender Daniel Amartey was lucky to have gotten away with a handball incident in the penalty box during Monday's Premier League encounter with Crystal Palace.

Television replays showed the ball struck Amartey's hand as he contested an aerial ball with Christian Benteke during the second half.

The referee did not penalise the Ghanaian while his video assistant referees did not spot the incident, much to the dismay of Palace players Benteke and Cheikhou Kouyate.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park as Harvey Barnes (Leicester) and Wilfried Zaha (Palace) scored to cancel out each other.

"It’s a really interesting one because you can understand how the referee has missed it initially," Clattenburg said, as reported by Talksport.

“But Crystal Palace will be feeling really disappointed because when the ball comes in, Benteke jumps in with Amartey. Amartey’s hand is out but it’s actually [Cheikhou] Kouyate who appeals.

“Therefore the VAR [Robert Jones] should have automatically checked because the ball’s out of play.

“But from the camera behind the goal I thought ‘is that a potential penalty for handball?’ So therefore the VAR should have checked it.

“He didn’t because less than 20 seconds from Benteke heading it over to Kasper Schmeichel taking the goal kick, the ball was back in play so it wasn’t checked. There wasn’t enough time.

“I feel he should’ve taken his time and used all the evidence that’s available. The camera angle we can see, Amartey’s hands are above his shoulder and he’s clearly hand-balled it.”

Fit-again Amartey lasted for the entire duration of Monday's game where he was deployed at centre-back alongside Jonny Evans.

It was his fourth Premier League appearance of the season and his first start since returning from a hamstring injury picked up while in action against West Ham United in October.

The 26-year-old made a return from a long-term injury just ahead of the start of the season, having been out on the sidelines since sustaining an ankle injury, coincidentally against West Ham, during a league fixture in October 2018.

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