Nottingham Forest mocked after accusing VAR of being 'Luton fan'

Nottingham Forest have been mocked and accused of lacking "class" after accusing a referee of being a Luton Town fan.

After losing 2-0 to Everton at Goodison Park, Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo was left incensed as three penalty appeals were denied by match officials.

Minutes after the game ended, the club claimed the virtual assistant referee (VAR) Stuart Attwell was "a Luton fan" and suggested Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) did not act on their concerns.

"Three extremely poor decisions - three penalties not given - which we simply cannot accept," the club tweeted.

"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."

The defeat leaves Forest 17th in the Premier League, just one point above Luton Town and at risk of relegation to the Championship.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Nuno said "we've tried to ignore it but so many times it's repeating" as he claimed referee decisions have regularly and unfairly gone against the club.

The Forest boss said "those decisions could mean points", adding: "We feel [PGMOL] are taking things away from us and it's very hard not to react to it."

Forest player Neco Williams said there were "three blatant penalties" during the game, adding: "Is it because we are lower bottom half table teams?

"I guarantee top-six teams are getting every single one of them. It's ridiculous."

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'Show a bit of class'

Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville criticised Forest for their statement, with Carragher comparing the comments to those made by "a fan in a pub".

"I get the frustration, but that, what I've just read there on social media, that's like a fan in a pub," Carragher said. "That is embarrassing from Nottingham Forest.

"That rubbish that VAR's a Luton fan - you can't get involved in that, you've got to show a little bit of class if you're a football club.

"I get it, the frustration - the officials had an awful day, terrible - but you can't get involved in that, that's nonsense."

Neville said: "It's horrendous, the statement by that football club, and it lets the proud history of that club down.

"The inferred cheating, as suggested by a Luton fan being a VAR official, is absolutely ridiculous."

Palace mocks statement

Off the back of a 5-2 win against West Ham, Crystal Palace poked fun at Forest's statement, posting on X: "Five extremely good goals - two goals conceded - which we simply have to accept."

Both Everton and Forest have been hit with points deductions this season for breaching the Premier League's rules on profitability and sustainability.

It is not the first time Forest have been incensed with refereeing decisions, and as a result they appointed former official Mark Clattenburg as a consultant analyst to fight their corner.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Clattenburg described the three decisions as "a joke" and said Forest had been subjected to "some egregious refereeing" this season.

The former referee wrote: "These situations were precisely why video technology was brought into the Premier League and yet, Attwell did not send Taylor to his monitor.

"Not once. It was a hat-trick of howlers from the refereeing team and, unfortunately for Forest, a continuation of an unjust trend that has hampered their survival fight."

Discussing the appointment of Attwell as VAR, he added: "Certainly, I would not have risked this situation if I were the head of the referees and all of this could have been avoided had the PGMOL simply made smarter appointments."

Neville has said Clattenburg should resign from his role at Forest over the statement released by the club.

The Football Association told Sky News it is aware of Forest's post and is investigating.

Sky News has also contacted the PGMOL for comment.