Jeremy Doku speaks out on high challenge on Alexis Mac Allister

  • Doku has given his verdict on his alleged foul on Mac Allister
  • Incident occurred in the 98th minute of Liverpool 1-1 Man City earlier this month
  • The decision could have a huge impact on the Premier League title race
Doku's challenge was controversial
Doku's challenge was controversial / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Jeremy Doku has admitted he worried a penalty was going to be awarded for his high challenge on Alexis Mac Allister during Manchester City's top of the table clash with Liverpool earlier this month.

Doku tread a fine line in the 98th minute of Man City's eventual 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League recently, kicking midfielder Mac Allister in the chest inside the penalty area. To the surprise of many, the challenge was not deemed a foul by referee Michael Oliver and the VAR, ensuring that the points would be shared.

Speaking to the press while on international duty with Belgium, Doku has admitted that he was worried that a penalty would be awarded after a VAR check.

"Of course I agree [with the decision]," insisted Doku. "No, it was a risky challenge. I could have dealt with it differently. I still believe it wasn't a penalty but I know some other referees would have given it. But it wasn't a penalty so I was a happy.

Alexis Mac Allister, Jérémy Doku
Mac Allister down in the penalty box after the challenge / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

"Was I worried? For a moment when they were looking at the VAR and maybe looking for a penalty.

"For me is wasn't a penalty, but I understand why some people are angry and why the Liverpool fans believe it was a penalty."

Referees' chief Howard Webb has come out in defence of Oliver and the VAR in the aftermath of the game, explaining why a penalty was not awarded.

"If the referee gives it on the field, it would have been a check complete by the VAR and equally, having not given it, it's also check complete," Webb said. "You hear Michael Oliver say the ball's in between two players going together. The ball is too low to head. Doku, lifts his foot to play the ball, and he does make contact on the ball.

"And yes, we know there's some contact on Mac Allister as well, Mac Allister comes into him, Mac Allister is not really playing the ball either. So, I understand why it's split opinion.

"I think it would have been checked complete either way, not wanting to to re-referee the gaming situations that are not really clear which is what we think the VAR is is for in this situation. The VAR stays out of it. I think that is what we would we would expect."