Liverpool Fans Create Petition For Martin Atkinson To Be Sacked Following VAR Controversy
By Tom Sanders
Hot on the heels of their last petition calling for a statue of Divok Origi to be erected outside Anfield, Liverpool fans are once again manning the decks over at Change.org, this time demanding that Martin Atkinson be given the sack.
Liverpool narrowly scraped themselves a 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, coming from behind to nudge themselves over the line at the last minute thanks to two late goals from Andy Robertson and Saido Mane.
However, the day wasn't without its controversy, after referee Martin Atkinson ruled out an early Liverpool goal from Roberto Firmino after bizarrely claiming that the Brazilian striker's ARMPIT was offside.
Even stranger was the fact that even the VAR check appeared to show that Firmino was onside, yet the referee persisted in disallowing the goal.
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino was flagged offside before putting the ball in the net against Aston Villa and the decision was confirmed by VAR- Premier League (@premierleague) November 2, 2019
The red line signifies Firmino and was aligned to his armpit, which was marginally ahead of the last Villa defender#AVLLIV pic.twitter.com/a2OnNWnz2E
To say this has gone down badly amongst the Kopites is an understatement.
Speaking in the post-match conference, Jurgen Klopp suggested that people could be given the sack for misusing VAR, stating that: "When we talk about serious moments, very important moments in football, it's not right to sit here and everyone wants to laugh about it," Klopp said.
"It is not to laugh about. It is too serious. Managers get sacked for losing football games.
"They just have to clarify it. I am not saying anyone is doing it on purpose."
Now it appears one Liverpool fan has taken Klopp up on his offer.
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Appearing on Change.org late on Saturday afternoon, a petition created by a Kopite with the username 'Sack Atkinson' calls on the Premier League to sack the referee after accusing him of fixing VAR evidence in order to benefit Villa.
The petition, titled "Martin Atkinson should be sacked for his blatantly incorrect decisions" reads as follows:
"Martin Atkinson has gotten away with blatantly incorrect and biased decisions without any punishment for too long. His recent call in the Liverpool vs Aston Villa game which had a Liverpool goal disallowed was clearly onside before he moved the line to an incorrect position, making the call offside.
The football is becoming poor because players are trying to avoid things which are 100% allowed. His decisions are game changing and can cause teams to unfairly drop up to 3 points, a possibly title winning margin.
Atkinson needs to be sacked or at least punished to stop these clearly unprofessional and biased decisions."
At the time of writing the petition is a whisker away from reaching its goal of 1000 signatures and seems certain to surpass that number before the end of the weekend.
If for some reason you'd like to sign the petition, you can add your signature here.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images