Football

VAR chief gives system seven out of 10 rating

The use of the VAR in the English Premier League has been vindicated despite controversial decisions and criticism from fans and pundits, the system's chief Neil Swarbrick said yesterday.

After the latest round of matches in which Sheffield United had a goal disallowed for offside against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City were denied a penalty for handball against Liverpool, Swarbrick defended the technology.

"We are in the infancy with VAR and you need to give us time to operate and utilise it," he told Sky Sports.

"It is working as we wanted. It's taken quite a few years for other competitions or sports - the likes of cricket and rugby union - to get to where they are today regarding technology. It doesn't happen overnight."

Asked by the BBC how he would rate the use of VAR, which was introduced in the EPL this season, on a scale of one to 10, Swarbrick said: "I'd give us around about seven-ish. We have more decisions correct with VAR than without it."

Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton was one of the system's harshest critics.

"Seven out of 10? Did he really say that with a straight face?" Sutton told the BBC.

"There have been so many high-profile, horrific mistakes. They've got too much wrong. I wanted VAR to work, but they are making such a mess of it."

Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson also pulled no punches in criticising VAR.

"It's been a bit of a disaster. It doesn't clear up a clear and obvious error, it's just someone else's opinion," he said.

"It's been a complete mess from day one and it's caused more problems than it's worth."

Juergen Klopp, who yesterday was at a Uefa coaches forum in Nyon, Switzerland, added: "It is clear it's a process where they have to keep on improving... Nobody asks for perfection, just to have the right decision, that's all." - REUTERS, AFP

Football