Nottingham Forest will see their huge Premier League clash with Everton refereed by John Brooks. The Leicester-based match official has not taken charge of a top-flight fixture since being stood down for a high-profile VAR error.
Brooks wrongly denied Brighton a goal against Crystal Palace. He was supposed to be covering VAR for Liverpool v Everton and Arsenal v Manchester City but was stood down from both.
It proved to be a bad weekend for VAR on that particular occasion. PGMOL chief Howard Webb called an emergency meeting with the officials and in the aftermath, the organisation parted company with Lee Mason.
Brooks has lived to fight another day though. He is only 33-years-old and ultimately the Premier League believe that he has the potential to continue developing as a referee.
The referee hasn’t taken charge of a Premier League fixture since his VAR error, however. In fact, his last refereeing assignment in the top flight came in January when he refereed Everton’s game against Southampton.
On Saturday, he was back on the field with a whistle in his hand. He was handed the EFL clash between Reading and Blackpool, with the Royals winning 3-1.
Forest will see huge Premier League clash refereed by John Brooks
The recent controversy could give some Reds supporters anxiety about Brooks taking charge of this one. But, there is perhaps a good omen to look at ahead of the clash.
The last time Brooks refereed Forest, they won. He was the man in charge when the Reds defeated Crystal Palace 1-0 at the City Ground.
In that game, he did award Palace a penalty, although it was the right decision, with Joe Worrall clearly fouling Wilfried Zaha. The Palace forward missed his spot-kick.
Forest will hope that the game doesn’t come down to a refereeing decision. Paul Tierney will be on VAR for the fixture and it will be hoped that he has a quiet game too.
The Reds lost 4-0 at the weekend to West Ham. They must take care of business against Everton as they try to avoid dropping further into the relegation battle.