Former FIFA and Premier League referee Keith Hackett has credited Peter Banks for the way he handled things at Turf Moor on Sunday, insisting that he had no choice but to call the game off.
The clash between Burnley and Tottenham was called off less than an hour before kick-off after both sides had released their teamsheets.
While the staff at Turf Moor tried to clear the playing surface, the heavy snowfall ultimately made it impossible to carry on with proceedings.
Antonio Conte admitted that the right decision had been made by the Premier League given the state of the pitch.
Bankes even gave an interview to Sky Sports explaining the decision to postpone the game. He insisted the field was covered by snow just ten minutes after it was cleared and added that the game would have had to be stopped every 15 minutes had it gone ahead.
Some pundits have opined that kick-off could have been delayed by a couple of hours but Hackett insisted that Bankes handled the situation perfectly.
The former PL referee told Football Insider: “The interview from referee Peter Bankes is excellent.
“If there are any doubts that a pitch is going to be unfit then you don’t let the fans in. They’re caught massively short by a huge snowfall.
“This was a particularly difficult decision with fans already in. There’s pressure on the referee, he’s got to look at the safety of the players and the fans. Are the outer streets safe so they can leave the ground OK?
“He went through the right procedures. He took the ball out with him and saw how it went. The lines were covered, the referee has to see the lines, this is the elite level.
“This is a different scenario to a referee giving an interview after the game where he discusses his decision in the game. They tend to be more vitriolic and people form opinions.
“It’s a difficult one. I know these guys, I know they are very articulate and can handle the media very efficiently, they are, as their very nature as referees, very good communicators.
“Generally the media says they want interviews post-match but don’t really because ultimately it kills a lot of the conversations.
“That is the game of football, it has controversies, we have different opinions and that’s why I share them here. And often they cause a reaction from other referees.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I believe Bankes made the right call to call off the game as the safety of the players and fans was paramount in that situation. However, I fear that that the game being postponed is only likely to make our fixture list even more hectic over the next couple of months.
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