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Joe Cole under fire from some fans over ‘sexist’ referee comment during Liverpool-Chelsea clash

Former Premier League star Joe Cole has come under fire on social media for what some fans think sounded like possible sexism towards referee Stephanie Frappart this evening.

Cole, on punditry duty with BT Sport as two of his old clubs Chelsea and Liverpool contested the UEFA Super Cup final, seemed to hint that VAR would not want to overrule Frappart’s decisions tonight due to the weight of the occasion for her.

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Numerous users on Twitter have quoted Cole as saying, with some slight variation, something along the lines of: “I don’t think VAR wanted to overrule her on such a big night for many reasons.”

This was the first time a female referee had taken charge of a men’s European game, in what is clearly a hugely positive step as the sport has so often been criticised for failing to move with the times in a number of ways.

Still, some people believe Cole perhaps showed some of that slightly old-fashioned attitude as he suggested there may have been some favouritism shown towards tonight’s match official.

While it’s unclear if that is precisely what the former England international meant, he could perhaps have chosen his words more carefully and his comments are being met with plenty of criticism on social media, with some reaction below…

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