22 Feb VAR “not good enough” after Lo Celso controversy, says Lampard
Referee chiefs have admitted the Video Assistant Referee should have sent off Tottenham’s Giovani Lo Celso during his side’s defeat to Chelsea.
Referee Michael Oliver deemed Lo Celso’s rash challenge on Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta did not even warrant a yellow card and VAR upheld his decision.
Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett insists VAR got it badly wrong and Professional Game Match Officials Limited told the PA news agency it should have been a red card.
PGMOL said the point of contact and the intensity of Lo Celso’s challenge was worthy of a straight red card, but added it had been a subjective decision and VAR’s view at the time was that Oliver’s decision was not “a clear and obvious error”.
Hackett responded to the decision on Twitter by demanding those responsible for VAR decisions to “update” themselves on the laws of the game.
“Come on David Coote VAR,” Hackett said. “That is a red card every day. Its not a difficult decision. Lo Celso should have received a red card.
“Now I want to know who is the person at the centre of the PGMOL statement. I suggest that he goes to http://theifab.com and updates himself on LOTG (laws of the game).”
Azpilicueta, who had ice strapped to his shin post-match, told BT Sport: “It was definitely a stamp on my shin; I felt it straight away and I was surprised that it was not a red card or even a yellow card.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard told BT Sport that VAR’s decision “was not good enough”.
“Everybody in the world, in football, saw that was a red and it’s too late,” Lampard said.
“I hate to call for red cards but its a leg-breaker of a tackle.
“VAR has been given the chance to give the right decision or change the decision.
“I’m not talking about the referee because it’s not easy for them to spot them, VARs need to clear those up and it’s not good enough.”
More VAR controversy followed in the Premier League on Saturday during Burnley’s home game against Bournemouth.
Matej Vydra gave Burnley the lead and Harry Wilson put the ball in the net at the other end, but the equaliser was ruled out by VAR, with the home side awarded a penalty for an earlier handball by Adam Smith and Jay Rodriguez converted to put the hosts 2-0 up.
VAR was introduced to the Premier League for the first time this season and fans are growing increasingly frustrated at its impact on the game.
A growing number of controversial VAR offside calls have been questioned in recent weeks, with Olivier Giroud’s header for Chelsea in Monday night’s home defeat to Manchester United ruled out by the slightest of margins.
Fans also complain that VAR takes centre stage far too frequently and have been critical of the delays taken to reach decisions during play.
FIFA’s chief of global football development Arsene Wenger said this week that the offside law could be changed due to the number of goals contentiously ruled out by VAR.
The former Arsenal boss sits on the technical panel of the International Football Association Board, which sets football’s laws.
He suggested amending the law so that “you will not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker’s body are in front”.