Hawkeye apologises after error denies Sheffield United

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Hawkeye said that the view had never been as blocked before in more than 9,000 matches Sheffield United
Hawkeye said that the view had never been as blocked before in more than 9,000 matches

The operator of the Premier League’s goalline technology system has apologised after an error denied Sheffield United a goal in their 0-0 draw at Aston Villa.

Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland carried Oliver Norwood’s 42nd-minute free-kick over the line.

But referee Michael Oliver did not receive a signal to indicate a goal.

Hawkeye said it “unreservedly apologises”, and acknowledged that the ball had gone over the line.

Deal of the day

The company added it was the first time such an error had occurred in more than 9,000 matches using the system.

It explained that all seven of its cameras monitoring the goal were obscured by either the goalkeeper, a defender or the goalpost.

Hawkeye added that the system had been tested before the match, and was confirmed to be working by referee Oliver and his fellow officials.

The company said: “Hawkeye unreservedly apologises to the Premier League, Sheffield United and everyone affected by this incident.”

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder was seen to approach Oliver at the interval, while the club’s Twitter account posted two messages in response to the goalline technology failure: “Really?” and “it wasn’t working”.

The controversy also brought an immediate Twitter response from Premier League players.

West Ham’s Declan Rice wrote: “Wait… I thought this is what VAR was brought in for? Blatantly over the line.” Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul simply posted the word “shambles”.

In what was the first Premier League match since 9 March – the season having been halted by the coronavirus pandemic – the result leaves the Blades in sixth in the Premier League, while Aston Villa remain 19th.

Before the match both sets of players took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.