Fans left scratching their head as VAR deems Ben Godfrey’s stamp not worthy of red card


Fans were left bemused after Everton defender Ben Godfrey escaped punishment despite appearing to stamp on the face of Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Tomiyasu was left bloodied and bruised after catching a faceful of Godfrey’s studs in the first-half of Arsenal’s trip to Goodison Park.

The right-back was attempting to take the ball down the touchline when he was tackled by Allan.

Godfrey then poked the ball away, before appearing to tumble towards Tomiyasu.

As he did, however, he scraped his boot across the face of the defender, while looking the opposite way.

The decision was looked at by VAR, but Mike Dean didn’t even get asked to look at the pitch side monitor.

Instead, he allowed play to continue, with Godfrey remaining on the pitch.

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was seen protesting to Dean while VAR officials were looking at the incident, but it seems not everyone agrees with the decision.

Fans were staggered with the decision to leave Godfrey on the pitch, and flooded Twitter with complaints.

“That’s a straight red, once again VAR is completely useless,” one fan wrote.

Another joked: “I just can’t understand why our refs don’t get picked for World Cups, etc.”

Putting it simply, one fan asked: “How is this not a red card I don’t get it?”

“He even glances at him before, then fake dives after, clear red,” one wrote.

“Seems that the stamp on the face of an Arsenal player is allowed in the rules of the game,” one confused fan posted.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 06: Takehiro Tomiyasu of Arsenal talks with referee Mike Dean during the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 06, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Speaking at half-time, Gary Neville explained he believes Godfrey was acting intentionally.

“We think he means that. He just knows he’s there, he followed through,” he said when discussing with Jamie Carragher.

“The slow-motion, the reaction after you can tell he’s staying it’s an accident.

“I can see why VAR have said it’s accidental, they can’t prove it wasn’t, but as a professional you know. He’s meant it, but I can see why it’s not a red.”