Mark Halsey column: You’ve got to applaud Andre Marriner’s handling of Newcastle-Tottenham incident

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We all witnessed that distressing incident in the match between Newcastle and Spurs on Sunday, and I think Andre Marriner correctly stopped the game in the first half.

Fair play to Eric Dier and a few of the other Tottenham players, who obviously realised there was an emergency in the crowd, informed the referee and got the doctor over. Fans are just as important as players and when someone’s life is in danger, their safety is paramount. So you’ve got to applaud Andre Marriner for how he handled that, and of course the Tottenham players and club doctors in that instance.

Once the paramedic’s there, should the play have restarted? It’s a difficult one. Obviously you’ve got to remove the sick patient and get them out of the ground and to hospital. Overall I think the correct approach was taken, with the players going off the field. Well done there to all involved.

In terms of on-the-pitch incidents, there was a big penalty shout for Tottenham when Matt Ritchie put his elbow and arm up towards the ball. I thought Newcastle were very lucky with that one and I’m surprised VAR didn’t recommend a review. But that’s the inconsistency we’ve seen this season from VAR in certain instances.

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey is a columnist for

With Jonjo Shelvey’s sending-off, I think Steve Bruce will be mortified with the actions of his midfield player. His first foul was absolutely nailed-on, a reckless wild lunge at the Tottenham defender. Then his second caution denied a promising attack, with no chance of playing the ball. He fully deserved his red card, Newcastle can have no complaints, so well done to Andre Marriner for how he handled that game, showing his experience.

There was also a big talking point from the Everton-West Ham game, with Rondon’s supposedly deliberate stamp on Soucek’s face, which I think looked accidental.

Some people are saying the FA may go back and look at it. But I think if it was an act of violent conduct, VAR would have definitely got involved and recommended a review to the referee Stuart Attwell.

Nothing was given and I think that was the right call. Obviously Soucek received stitches afterwards but it’s one of those things that happens, it’s a contact sport and unfortunately it’s going to happen.

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