Should VAR be scrapped? YOUR COMMENTS after officials are slammed

Should VAR be scrapped? YOUR COMMENTS after Howard Webb said VAR Darren England was RIGHT not to stop Liverpool’s game with Spurs after offside howler

  • Howard Webb has spoken about Luis Diaz’s disallowed goal against Tottenham 
  • The goal should have stood, but was wrongly given offside by the VAR official 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’ 

Fans have called for VAR to be scrapped after Howard Webb had his say on the most controversial decision of the Premier League season to date after Luis Diaz had a goal incorrectly disallowed during Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat by Tottenham last month.

Webb joined Michael Owen to discuss the incident on the PGMOL’s Match Officials: Mic’d Up on Tuesday night, and insisted VAR Darren England did the right thing in not stepping in.

The incident occurred in the first half of the clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Mohamed Salah playing Diaz through on goal and the Colombian winger finishing past Guglielmo Vicario.

The offside flag belatedly went up, leading to an obligatory VAR check. Replays confirmed Diaz was actually onside and the goal should have stood, but VAR official England wrongly thought the goal had originally been given, and uttered the words ‘check complete’.

When discussing the incident with Owen, Webb insisted: ‘There’s obviously a process in place that sits in the laws of the game about how we use VAR to make sure it is delivered consistently throughout every league in the world. And it doesn’t allow you to go back in those circumstances. As such they decided not to intervene.’ 

PGMOL chief Howard Webb (above) backed the decision from VAR officials not to restart Liverpool’s clash with Tottenham despite the mistake

Replays showed Luis Diaz’s goal should have stood, but the VAR official misunderstood the original decision and called ‘check complete’, meaning the goal was wrongly ruled out

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In response to Webb’s explanation, some fans voiced their frustrations with the application of VAR in the Premier League and some even called for it’s removal entirely.

One commenter said: ‘Too many errors and not enough accountability. Every time there is an error by referee/ VAR we are told will never happen again… until it does’.

‘This weekend sending the Chelsea player off similar to Jones but then the city player gets off with an exact same tackle no consistency,’ another said. 

That comment brought into question the decision to send off Chelsea’s Malo Gusto against Aston Villa but allow Mateo Kovacic to be cautioned for a similar challenge against Arsenal. 

‘HOW on Earth the refs are given this much power?’ one fan said. ‘Of course you can bring a game back and give the correct result. There isn’t one singular reason why you can’t. Why are they literally treating it like Sunday League Football.’ 

Another commenter followed a similar theme, as they said: ‘In a multi billion pound product if you listen to the VAR audio you would think they are officiating Sunday league’.

One user lambasted Webb’s explanation, as he said: ‘Hasn’t actually said much here. The entitlement and arrogance of the PGMOL is astounding. 

‘Still this matter remains unresolved, and VAR is beyond the gutter. Webb needs to go for a start.’

Many of our readers weighed in on the controversy following VAR’s awful decision at Spurs

Another commenter: ‘If that’s his answer, get rid of him, at some point the integrity of the game supersedes all technology, if a mistake has been made, who would have complained if they had said, stop, we have made a mistake, goal? 

‘They would have been applauded for being human. They seem intent only to make sure their rules are followed and to hell with football’.

In a rather blunt assessment, one user said: ‘Had to switch off, he was nauseating. There is no hope with him at the helm’.

‘His assessment of being right to deny a perfectly legitimate goal is rather a pathetic cop out,’ said one frustrated fan. 

Another commenter put his own views to the side as he said: ‘I have no time for Liverpool but the decision was a disgrace, the VAR should have the power/ability once they realised they had made such a calamitous error to stop the game, allow the correct decision and then proceed, yes there would have been a fuss at the time but what has actually happened is a total farce’. 

Users did not held back in their critique of Webb’s explanations on Match Officials: Mic’d Up

When asked by Owen whether the game should have been retrospectively stopped to rectify the error, Webb said: ‘I understand why people would ask that question. Actually, the VAR and the AVAR asked themselves that question too when the penny dropped as to what had happened, I think 20 seconds had passed.

‘At that point they considered whether they could intervene to stop the game but they recognised that the laws of the game, set by FIFA and the IFAB, doesn’t allow that.

Having clarified why the game could not be paused, Webb revealed tweaks to VAR could be made by global governing bodies in the near future that would allow off-field officials to step in if they’ve made an initial error.

‘I know that IFAB, in fact before this situation even happened, I knew that they were going to do a full review of the laws of the game relating to the use of VAR,’ Webb told Owen.

‘It has been in place for seven years now, when it was written there had never been a game that had utilised VAR anywhere in the world. They put a protocol in place and it has served the game really well. But now we have lived experience of situations like we saw this week.

‘We can feed into that as well and IFAB will look into whether there is a need to tweak some of it. I am sure they will be looking into how this aspect of VAR is used as well.’ 

Many said that Webb was given an easy ride by Michael Owen during questioning of decisions 

One of the main points of contention following the howler has been England saying ‘check complete’ and not clarifying exactly what he had been looking at.

Webb acknowledged there was some ambiguity in England’s language which played a part in the wrong decision being made, and laid out the changes that have been made in the days since to stop something similar happening in the future.

‘What we have to do is put things in place so that should we have human error it doesn’t have the damage or the impact that we saw on this occasion,’ Webb explained.

‘One of the things that this has brought into sharp focus is the need to reiterate some of those communication protocols that are really valuable in VAR to prevent this kind of thing happening’.


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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