VAR controversy from the Nottingham Forest game at Everton has led to the former asking for public release of the audio between officials. On Sunday, Nottingham Forest suffered a damaging defeat at Goodison Park against relegation rivals Everton. However, several key decisions went against Forest, and that transpired into the club calling out the Premier League and the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, or PGMOL, which assigns and directs referees.

Following the loss on Sunday, Forest laid out harsh criticism toward the referee association.

“Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept,” Forest said on social media. “We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they didn’t change him. Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

It appears one of those options is to press the Premier League into releasing the VAR audio. In another social media post on Monday, Nottingham Forest announced that it submitted a formal request to release the audio recordings into the public domain. In particular, Forest highlighted three moments that it believes changed the course of the game. All three of these relate to Everton fullback Ashley Young.

In the 26th minute, he tackled Gio Reyna from behind. Then, just before halftime, the controversial no-call on a handball in the box happened when the ball clearly struck Young’s hand. Finally, in the 56th minute, Young brought down Callum Hudson-Odoi in the box in what looked like a clear penalty. Center referee Anthony Taylor waved away all three of Forest’s claims. The Tricky Trees lost the game, 2-0.

Forest rightly asks for Everton VAR audio

Despite Ashley Young playing off the three incidents as ‘correctly given,’ the drama emanating from Sunday’s game speaks volumes about the larger issue. Referee issues and improper use of VAR have plagued the Premier League this season. Earlier in the campaign, Liverpool fell to Tottenham as a result of a massive VAR mistake that wrongfully disallowed a goal for the Reds. As things stand, that single point missed is of huge consequence for Liverpool. Also, Mikel Arteta said referees must improve after losing to Newcastle earlier in the season.

There is no reason the public and Nottingham Forest should not have access to the audio between referees from the Everton game. In the last issue, Anthony Taylor motioned as if Young got the ball when he tackled Hudson-Odoi. If that was the reason for not blowing for a foul, VAR should have recognized that there was no touch on the ball. Communication would go a long way to see how well VAR is doing its job of sorting on-field mistakes.

Previous audio has shed light on errors

The Premier League released audio for that Liverpool game against Tottenham, and it showed the error in VAR’s ways. Piling the pressure on the PGMOL with audio can hopefully bring more public knowledge about how VAR discussed the Forest loss at Everton. The ensuing consequences of the audio could be dramatic. Those three potential penalty kicks could have been the difference in Nottingham Forest’s season.