Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has criticised the officiating in Tottenham’s draw with Liverpool on Sunday, saying Andy Robertson is “lucky to be walking”.
The left-back was on the end of a strong studs-up tackle from Harry Kane.
Referee Paul Tierney only gave a yellow card and Robertson was later shown a straight red for a foul on Emerson Royal that was reviewed by VAR.
“I think Kane’s tackle’s worse than Robertson’s,” said Clattenburg.
BBC Sport were told one of the mitigating factors behind the decision not to dismiss Kane for his first-half challenge was the fact Robertson lifted his standing leg out of the way of the Spurs captain’s tackle.
“To hear that Robertson has to have his leg planted alarms me, because if he does that he’s not walking this Christmas,” Clattenburg told the Monday Night Club on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“If you don’t believe this is a clear and obvious error about Kane, you’re not doing your job correctly.
“I think we, as referees, are sometimes guilty of knowing the laws of the game but we don’t understand the game.
“VAR cannot get this wrong. Referees can, because they have a split second. VAR have all the angles, he’s got all the slow-motion, he can see the point of contact.
“If they are saying that his (Robertson’s) leg has to be planted, which is a new one to me, if the leg was high, the studs were showing, it’s reckless, he’s lunged. For me, he’s endangered the safety of the opponent.
“Robbo is lucky today that he’s still walking. We should understand footballers more because he’s not going to leave his leg there, why should he? He’s not going to want his leg broken and his career put in doubt.”
Clattenburg, who spent 13 years as a Premier League referee from 2004 to 2017, is now Head of Officiating in Greece.
“In Greece, we release the audio of VAR decisions,” he said.
“People appreciate it. They might not always agree with it, but they appreciate it. I think that should happen.
“We should be able to listen to the audio. We might not agree with it, but at least then we would understand.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was booked for his reaction to the decision not to send Kane off and confronted the officials at full-time, telling Tierney: “I have no problem with any other referees, only you.”
Klopp told BBC Sport after the game: “I think we all agree it is a clear red card, I just need to ask two people, Mr Tierney and whoever was the VAR. You can give Robertson a red card, he knows that himself, but Harry should not have been on the pitch in the second half.
“If Mr Tierney does not see it, I get that. But the VAR was obviously awake because he told him to look again at Robertson.”
Kane said he thought he made “a good, strong tackle”, but added: “A couple of the guys said when you slow it down it looks a little worse than it is.
“That’s what VAR’s there for, it’s what the refs are there for. When you’re playing in a game this big, against this team, there are going to be strong tackles.”