Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino was flagged offside before putting the ball in the net against Aston Villa and the decision was confirmed by VAR
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 2, 2019
By Temisan Amoye, Lagos
The introduction of VAR into the English Premier League was seen as an innovative way to help the referee make more accurate decisions, thereby curtailing controversies.
So far this season, VAR has caused more controversies than it has curtailed. With Chelsea and Liverpool’s bosses making varying pleas, after seeing their teams fall victim to controversial VAR decisions in Matchday 11.
Liverpool’s Robert Firmino saw a 1st half equalizer against Aston Villa, contentiously ruled out for offside. Ref Martin Atkinson, VAR, both upheld the offside decision, despite images showing Firmino was clearly onside. The Premier League soon released a statement declaring the Brazilian’s armpit was marginally offside.
Although the controversial decision did not cost Liverpool the game, Reds boss in his post-match press conference said ” You what? His armpit? “We won 2-1, so it’s now not that serious. But we are talking about serious moments, it’s not right that we are sitting here talking about it and everybody wants to laugh.
“There’s nothing to laugh about, to be honest. A manager can get sacked for losing football games. “I don’t want to make it bigger than it is. We just have to clarify it. I don’t say anybody is doing it on purpose.”
Klopp also believes Liverpool should have had a penalty in the second half at Villa Park when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a shot handled by Villa’s Matt Targett. “The handball situation with Target, nobody talks about that. “Nobody whistled it and VAR didn’t say anything. It was a penalty, in the good old days it would have been a penalty. Klopp added.
“Sometimes it is in favour of you, sometimes it is against you. That’s how it is. That’s not a problem. “We have to make sure the new system helps the game and not confuses it. That’s in the interests of all of us.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard also said the Premier League is “not in a great place” after VAR intervened to give Watford a late penalty against the Blues.
“I have to be careful really but last week we saw a change in VAR, a clear change in penalties getting overturned,” Lampard told reporters at his post-match news conference.
“I was at a managers’ meeting in midweek and we spoke a lot about it. The absolute consensus from managers, referees, the Premier League was the penalties or decisions, this is what I took from the meeting, anyway they are not going to get overturned unless they’re absolutely clear and obvious, and the VAR absolutely saw something that the referee on the pitch didn’t see.
“This didn’t, it nowhere near showed that, and the longer it took, the more worried I got. I’m so, so surprised from coming away on Thursday from that meeting to have that decision today.”
Fans were also left fuming about the VAR controversy, and they were less diplomatic than the managers when they took to twitter to react,
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) November 2, 2019
More horrendous VAR bullshit
Remember these graphics are accurate to 30cm pic.twitter.com/s5zESeC7eW
— SimonBrundish (@SimonBrundish) November 2, 2019
— JCRDY (@jcrdycollins) November 2, 2019
The fact that #VAR penalty decision was given and the one at Spurs wasn’t shows just how poorly it is working/being implemented. Deulofeu is touched certainly, but not tripped or clipped. I have to be honest – if that had gone against us I’d be very disappointed. #watfordfc
— Rookery Mike (@RookeryMike) November 2, 2019
— ©hampion Aaron (@aaronlutwama1) November 2, 2019