Referee Higler: ‘Tagliafico can the arm not be cut off’

Referee Dennis Higler is satisfied with the decisions that he took in the match between FC Groningen and Ajax (0-1) on Saturday. The arbitrator had a major role in three important moments in the match, including a possible handsbal of Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico in the penalty area.

Higler, the opening goal of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar despite protests from Groningen players that claimed the Ajax striker transgressed on Groningen defender Tim Craftsman.

“I think it’s a valid goal,” said Higler against FOX Sports. “They come in a physical duel. Huntelaar hammer out of that duel, it comes loose and makes a goal.”

“I found it logical that players of Groningen protested. I said that I take the time to give to and discuss with the VAR Danny Makkelie. We found it to be both a valid goal.”

The second important moment was the second yellow card and so red for Huntelaar, enabling Ajax in the final minutes with ten man had to go. The striker used his elbow in a duel with Groningen defender Samir Memisevic.

“After seeing the images, I would make the same decisions. If his elbow is really used as a weapon, I had straight red given. It was more of an awkward movement to the rear”, according to Higler.

A ball against the arm of Nicolas Tagliafico was not assessed as well as hands. (Photo: Pro Shots)

“This was a completely natural attitude’

Most of the discussion afterwards was about the handsbal of following his departure to chelsea Tagliafico in the own penalty area just before the final whistle. Higler and videoscheidsrechter Makkelie had no penalty.

“The ball bounces a half on the chest and also the upper arm from Tagliafico. That is in a natural posture, so it is not a criminal hands. Makkelie was agree. If the ball against the forearm and the arm is much further from the body, then, is much more punishable. This was a completely natural attitude. Tagliafico can the arm not be cut off,” concludes the 33-year-old referee.

The win keeps Ajax lead the Eredivisie. PSV Sunday at the same height in points come by a home win of ADO Den Haag.

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