When there is a debate about “VAR in football”, obviously a phrase sometimes used for it. This technology was introduced to fix the controversial decisions, faults made by humans, the misconception of the referee, etc. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is actually used to give the advantages to the referee for accurate video footage with better views and angles than those old days referees and linesman did for specific decisions. This technology includes penalty calls, direct red card, and goal or no goal decisions. Till now some of the decisions are taken even with the help of VAR, you can’t call them specific and clear all the time.
Premier League football has crossed the road halfway this season in England and after the massive impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, fans are returning to the stadiums slowly to cheer up their teams. VAR is now at the end of the criticism whether on social media or in debates of football pundits.
Whether every Premier League club went in favor of VAR or against it, the decisions about this technology have been at the receiving end for them. Most of the controversial decisions given by VAR in this Premier League season so far and those decisions are related to teams like Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Leeds United, Manchester City, etc. Though this is not an accurate list since the debate occurs every weekend, everyone will get an idea about it. Let’s take a look at some games.
November 2, Aston Villa vs Liverpool: The Armpit
In November, Liverpool player Roberto Firmino scored a goal which was later canceled as no goal by the VAR technology because he was offside for his armpit. On social media, the Premier League later clarify this decision by saying that Firmino’s armpit was slightly offside because they drew the red line parallelly with the defender of Aston Villa was aligned to Firmino’s armpit. This explanation became the main focus and creating more jokes on Twitter. In that game, Liverpool won by 1-2.
November 7, Leeds United vs Crystal Palace: Don’t Point
Patrick Bamford had a goal for Leeds United which was disallowed, for passing the ball pointing the place to his teammate. For pointing the place by his arm to where he wanted to place the ball, VAR later drew a blue and red line and come to this decision that he took an advantage which is better than Crystal Palace defenders. And for that, No Goal.
November 21, Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City: No Blessings Here
Against Tottenham, the ball Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus stuck on his shoulder or elbow was announced as a handball and for that, it was no goal. Later, Premier League made a clarification again by saying that the ball hit on the elbow of Jesus, falls into the “red zone” they called. Later that match, Manchester City’s midfielder Kevin De Bruyne said “I don’t know the rules anymore, honestly”.
October 24, Chelsea vs Manchester United: Clear and obvious intent to hurt, part 1
In that game, Manchester United defended their box from Chelsea where Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta and Man United’s defender Harry Maguire went for the ball. Maguire had cleared the ball by the head, but TV replay showed that Maguire jumped over Azpilicueta using his arms and shoulders for better advantages. Though it looks like a penalty offense, the field referee didn’t see that happen and continued the game, and VAR also ignores that incident by not interfering with it and take it softly which could have been a penalty.
October 17, Everton vs Liverpool: Clear and obvious intent to hurt, part 2
There are two debates about this game. One is for a reckless challenge which must be duly rewarded with a red card, and the other one says that it had been called an offside and so stopped. In that game, Liverpool’s Centre-back Virgil Van Dijk went for the ball, when he didn’t know that it was an offside which had been called. Everton’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford also didn’t know that.
VAR official initiated the review whether it was a possible penalty or not by checking the offside again. And the offside was confirmed where VAR didn’t pursue reviewing it in the first place, Pickford set free from a penalty while Van Dijk was seriously injured by Pickford’s lunge for the ball which will probably knock him out from the rest of the season.