Another week, another VAR debate
The Video Assistant Referee system has been heavily criticised in the Champions League again following several issues in the Barcelona vs Lyon clash.
There’s been much talk about VAR in recent weeks.
The system was first implemented at the World Cup in the summer and actually received a lot of plaudits.
That lead to discussion as to where else it could be implemented and the decision was taken to include it in the Champions League this season from the knockout stages onwards.
Though, since the knockouts, we’ve been speaking about VAR for all the wrong reasons.
Problems persist week after week
The first high-profile problem came in the first leg of Manchester City vs Schalke.
Schalke were awarded a penalty after VAR adjudged Nicolas Otamendi to have handled in the area.
It was even revealed later on that the pitchside screens were not even working during that clash so the referee couldn’t see the events himself.
Presnel Kimpembe was adjudged to have handballed in the area, handing Man United a 92nd-minute pen which knocked PSG out.
PSG were not impressed in the slightest, Neymar even had to be restrained when confronting referees.
Now, there’s been more debate over VAR.
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Barcelona – Lyon drama
First of all, VAR awarded Barcelona a penalty which divided opinion.
Jason Denayer went in for a tackle on Luis Suarez before pulling out but Suarez stepped on his foot before going down.
After a VAR review, the penalty was given, much to the surprise of several on social media.
It was even suggested on social media that there were technical problems during the review of the penalty.
Breaking | RMC report that UEFA have “intimated” that they had technical problems with VAR during the review of Barcelona’s penalty vs. Lyon this evening…
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) March 13, 2019
There was further criticism when Lyon scored to make it 2-1.
VAR checked the goal, as they do with many goals, but their review took extremely long and the length of delay was heavily criticised.
Social media reacts to VAR performance
Barcelona has also introduced Video assistant referee (VAR) embarrassing level from La Liga into Champions League. Suarez steps on a player and gets a penalty. Just wow. pic.twitter.com/ruT9oMku9a
— Madridista-Swedeninho (@MadridstaLoco) March 13, 2019
This Barcelona/Lyon game is being ruined by VAR, first the non penalty and now Lyon goal where Lenglet was fouled smh
— Super Jerry (@superjerry32) March 13, 2019
Barcelona get a penalty. It’s Suárez that actually stamps on Lyon’s defenders foot and afterwards goes down like he had been hit by the defender. I think it’s controversial.
But apart from all this, Leo Messi scores a beautiful chipped penalty and shuts down many doubters.
— AFC Ajax (@TheEuropeanLad) March 13, 2019
VAR… in… the… Champions… League…. takes… far… too… long…
— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) March 13, 2019
That VAR review in Barcelona took an eternity. Should be a maximum of 1 minute for review, if you can’t spot a clear and obvious mistake by then just stick with the original decision
— Mark L (@Toffybolox) March 13, 2019
Think VAR has got the Barcelona penalty wrong, to be honest. Denayer lunges in, but pulls out, and then Suarez is clever to stamp onto the leg that Denayer has retracted. The best crafty players will always find a way.
— Simon Harrison (@simonhfootball) March 13, 2019
This VAR is a long thing tonight. This is not the NFL please! Don’t kill the flow of the game. Barcelona have already accepted the goal. Lol #BARLYO
— Ayo Shonaiya (@AyoShonaiya) March 13, 2019
Barcelona got a dubious penalty and all of a sudden VAR got technical issue
This thing really write itself
— CMBBMB (@KAHZKAHZ) March 13, 2019
— Kevin Newey (@K3V147) March 13, 2019
— AS English (@English_AS) March 13, 2019