The whole point of a new piece of technology is to make life better for anyone that is going to use them. It is supposed to above all save time and when in sports, controversy and disagreement. The last thing it is supposed to cause is more controversy.
Since the introduction of the Virtual Assistant Referee into English football, controversy and disagreements have still managed to rear its ugly head nearly every weekend and when former Premier League Referee Mark Halsey comes out to bash the new piece of technology, on the weekend it has caused perhaps the greatest string of controversies, an outright review is needed.
Liverpool dropped points to United and Tottenham rescued a late draw against Watford while Aston Villa and Leicester both recorded an injury time victory thanks to VAR. However, given the animosity it has caused fans of the sides who felt VAR did them dirty, it is hard to see how a quiet weekend will be possible in the English Premier League.
In Manchester for example, Marcus Rashford’s first half goal stood despite an apparent foul being committed on Liverpool’s striker DivockOrigi in the buildup while Chris Wood’s goal for Burnley against Leicester was cancelled for the exact same reason.
Speaking of a similar incident, Mark Halsey says:
“I just cannot understand why Dele Alli’s goal wasn’t disallowed for a handball, given the new mandate. If Sadio Mane’s was ruled out against Manchester United, surely Alli’s has to be ruled out as well”.
Although the rest of the world have likewise adopted the VAR tech, England’s mode of using it remains perhaps the biggest bone of content. Unlike other big leagues, in the Premier League, referees are not allowed to use pitch side monitor to check and give their final verdict and that may remain their greatest undoing.