Tottenham Cristian Romero will not face retrospective action for pulling the hair of Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella on Super Sunday – as pulling a player’s hair is not considered an offence in football’s rules.
In a controversial final few minutes of the Premier League game on Sunday evening, Romero was seen tugging on Cucurella’s hair as he looked to attack a corner as Spurs looked for a late equaliser.
VAR official Mike Dean took a look at the incident and decided it was not a red card offence, nor a free-kick to Chelsea. Referee Anthony Taylor allowed Spurs to take another corner straight away, which Harry Kane scored from to haul Tottenham back level to 2-2.
The finale left Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel furious with the decision not to punish Romero and award Chelsea a late free-kick, with the German head coach imploring that the goal should not have been allowed to stand.
And because VAR took a look at the decision, Romero will not face any further punishment for violent conduct. Retrospective action can only be given when both the match and video officials fail to spot an incident on the pitch in real time and do not mention it in their post-match report.
Had referee Taylor spotted the incident in real time, then the correct course of action would have been a free-kick to Chelsea, leaving Spurs unable to score from that specific attack.
Unlike rugby, football laws do not specifically mention hair-pulling. The officials must decide whether the extent of the hair pulling is forceful enough to be considered violent conduct, if it is not then it would probably be considered unsporting behaviour and result in a yellow card.