Referee Higler: "Tagliafico cannot cut off his arm"

Referee Dennis Higler is satisfied with the decisions he made in the match between FC Groningen and Ajax (0-1) on Saturday. The referee played an important role in three important moments in the match, including a possible handball by Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico in the penalty area.


Referee Dennis Higler is satisfied with the decisions he made in the match between FC Groningen and Ajax (0-1) on Saturday. The referee played an important role in three important moments in the match, including a possible handball by Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico in the penalty area.

He approved the opening goal by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, despite protests from Groningen players who claimed that the Ajax striker committed a foul on Groningen defender Tim Handwerker.

"I think it's a valid goal," Higler told FOX Sports . "They end up in a physical duel. Huntelaar wriggles out of that duel, comes off and makes a goal."

"I thought it was logical that players from Groningen protested. I told them to give me time to consult with VAR Danny Makkelie. We both thought it was a valid goal."

The second important moment was the second yellow card and therefore red for Huntelaar, as a result of which Ajax had to continue with ten men in the last minutes. The striker used his elbow in a duel with Groningen defender Samir Memisevic.

"After seeing the images again, I would make the same decision. If he had really used his elbow as a weapon, I would have given red immediately. It was more a clumsy move backwards," said Higler.

A ball against Nicolas Tagliafico's arm was not judged as hands. (Photo: Pro Shots)

"This was a completely natural attitude"

The most discussion afterwards was about the handball of Ajax player Tagliafico in their own penalty area just before the final whistle. Higler and video referee Makkelie didn't think it was a penalty.

"The ball hits half the chest and also touches Tagliafico's upper arm. It is in a natural position, so it is not punishable hands. Makkelie agreed. If the ball hits the forearm and the arm is much farther of the body, then it is punishable much sooner. This was a completely natural attitude. Tagliafico cannot cut off his arm ", concludes the 33-year-old referee.

The victory keeps Ajax ahead in the Eredivisie. PSV can reach the same level in points on Sunday by winning at home from ADO Den Haag.

View the stand and the program in the Eredivisie

See also: Remaining program top clubs Premier League

ref: nunl