South Africa’s top coach Pitso Mosimane has had his say on the ongoing heavy criticism of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) following a spate of controversial decisions in Europe recently.
VAR’s competence has come under fire over questionable decisions in the English Premier League and in the Uefa Champions League.
In an EPL match against Newcastle, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta lashed out at the VAR for award a “questionable” goal against his team. The ball had appeared to have gone out of field during the build-up play to the goal.
This ignited a fiery post-match response from Arteta as he attacked the accuracy of VAR.
“We did not deserve to lose the match,” Arteta told Sky Sports after the match.
“We lose the match for the clear and obvious decisions, it is embarrassing. It is a disgrace, that is what it is, a disgrace.”
The game between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea on Monday also had its own fair share of VAR controversies. The match referee gave away what seemed to be a soft red card and penalty against Spurs.
Weighing in on the matter on X (formerly Twitter), Mosimane said he fully supports the VAR, despite all the controversy.
I am big fan of the video ref
“Football rules can be different according to the match officials. The very same goal that was allowed against Arsenal vs Newcastle is now disallowed in the game. I am watching Napoli vs U Berlin. (VAR included). Educate me here, listening,” the coach of Al Wahda in the United Arab Emirates wrote.
In the Uefa Champions League Mosimane referred to above, Napoli’s André-Frank Zambo Anguissa goal was disallowed after VAR consultation. VAR ruled out the goal for a foul by Napoli captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo.
“I have lost and won games after VAR decisions, but I am still a big fan of VAR,” Mosimane wrote on X.
“It has really helped referees a lot in making difficult decisions that a naked eye could detect instantly but it also has loopholes. I believe it will get better with years.”
In the Thursday night Champions League clash against FC Copenhagen, Manchester United managed Erik Ten Hag blamed the VAR for their 4-3 defeat. The referee showed striker Marcus Rashford a straight red card for planting a foot on the opponent’s ankle.
Even so, the call for the introduction of the VAR system in the Premier Soccer League remains. It is believed by many that it will save teams from refereeing blunders that have become common in the local league.
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