Man United’s FA Cup Fifth Round win over Huddersfield tonight was marred by more VAR controversy when the away side were seemingly robbed of a goal.

Juan Mata neatly rounded Jonas Lössl to turn in an Ashley Young cross on the stroke of the interval. To clear up some confusion, when VAR is in operation, all goals are automatically reviewed. The goal was eventually disallowed for offside.

I have to say that today was another shambles for the VAR. There is a clear need to bring in experienced TV technicians who can work with the VAR to give them the best possible viewing angle and the correct images; that need is immediate!

We understand the current VAR officials are not happy with the experience of the TV technicians being used at present. These decisions have got to be right 100% of the time and as quick as possible, isn’t that the point of it?

I have to ask the question whether the guys who have taken duty of VAR since it started have had the proper training and education? This is technology which in theory has all the makings of being able to help our game move forward, yet the way it’s being implemented is nothing short of farcical. I wonder if the influence that PGMOL General Manager Mike Riley is having is a negative one. He will have been at Stockley Park today with Neil Swarbrick, and for me that adds an unnecessary second pair of eyes, and adds more pressure on the back of Neil.

Photo: BT Sport

The lines we saw the VAR use on BT Sport were comical and we need the PGMOL to tell us exactly what the team at Stockley Park have access to, they have to be as transparent as possible.

Replays suggested Mata might have been beyond last defender Schindler by a kneecap, but for me he was onside. Although a tight call, after short deliberation it is clear by the replays I saw that Mata was just onside and the goal should stand.

I’ll also add finally that I firmly believe that ex top referees who have retired should be placed in the role of VAR, it’s a completely different role than being a referee.

It took eight minutes for the VAR to find an image to justify their decision to disallow the goal for offside. That simply is not acceptable.

So once again we’re having to debate the credibility of the VAR, for me that’s not down to the technology itself by any means, it’s more to do with the way PGMOL have introduced it.


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