VAR – the big incidents and milestones

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The Video Assistant Referee system was described as “embarrassing” by Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino this week – and on Saturday football’s law-makers will rule on whether to deploy the technology throughout the game.

If approved by the International Football Association Board, VAR could be in place at this summer’s World Cup.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at major incidents using the technology.

Cameroon 0 Chile 2, Confederations Cup, June 18, 2017

Germany v Chile – 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup – Group B – Kazan Arena
Eduardo Vargas fell foul of VAR in the Confederations Cup (Adam Davy/Empics)

Brighton 2 Crystal Palace 1, FA Cup, January 8, 2018

This was the first competitive game in England where the VAR technology was made available. The system remained unused but there was a hint of controversy as, despite suspicions of handball in Glenn Murray’s late winner for Brighton against his former club, it was not called upon. The striker’s arm was close to making contact with the ball and television replays were inconclusive, but referee Andre Marriner allowed the goal to stand without requesting the use of VAR, meaning Palace were eliminated.

Leicester 2 Fleetwood 0, FA Cup, January 16

Leicester became the first team in English football to score a goal via a VAR decision as they overcame Fleetwood 2-0 in their FA Cup replay. Kelechi Iheanacho scored in each half but it was his strike 13 minutes from time that required intervention. Referee Jonathan Moss asked to check if the striker was offside before finishing off Riyad Mahrez’s reverse pass. Replays showed Iheanacho was onside when the ball was played and the goal stood to see Leicester progress to a fourth-round tie away at Peterborough.

Chelsea 1 Norwich 1 (Chelsea win 5-3 on penalties), FA Cup, January 17

Chelsea v Norwich City – Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay – Stamford Bridge
Chelsea’s Willian (left) and Norwich’s Timm Klose battle for the ball (Tim Goode/Empics)

Liverpool 2 West Brom 3, FA Cup, January 27

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion – Emirates FA Cup – Fourth Round – Anfield
A view of the Video Assistant Referee system at pitchside (Peter Byrne/PA)

Huddersfield v Manchester United, FA Cup, February 17

Juan Mata had a goal disallowed, having been caught narrowly offside, during Manchester United’s 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round victory. Match referee Kevin Friend had awarded a goal until the VAR’s lengthy intervention. There was controversy after those viewing on BT Sport were shown images of Mata’s positioning amid crooked lines that created further confusion surrounding the decision.

Tottenham 6 Rochdale 1, FA Cup replay, February 28

Erik Lamela thought he had fired Tottenham ahead only for VAR Graham Scott to controversially rule it out due to slight tugs on Harrison McGahey’s shirt by Fernando Llorente. Lucas Moura was then felled by McGahey in the area, with no penalty the eventual decision, before Spurs were awarded a spot-kick when Kieran Trippier was held back by Matt Done. VAR again intervened, this time seemingly deciding that because the foul had continued into the area, Tottenham should be awarded a penalty. It was only in keeping with the tone of slapstick when Son Heung-min, having paused during his run-up, had his successful penalty disallowed and was booked for his troubles. Tierney double-checked with VAR, with more time wasted and players and fans becoming more and more bemused.

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