The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) acknowledges that an officiating error occurred during the 86th minute of the match between Columbus Crew SC and Orlando City SC on July 21.
The referee awarded a penalty kick after contact from Orlando City SC defender RJ Allen on Crew SC forward Patrick Mullins. PRO believes the minimal amount of contact between the players did not justify this decision.
Video Review protocol requires that all reviewable incidents are checked and analyzed by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents. The VAR checked this penalty kick decision, but did not accurately identify the on-field call as a clear and obvious error based on the minimal contact between the two players. Therefore, the VAR did not appropriately recommend a video review.
PRO holds its officials accountable and takes appropriate action when necessary. In addition, PRO evaluates the performances of every match official, and is taking steps to continually minimize these types of errors through rigorous training and testing protocols.