Monday 23 July 2018

'It's a cancer in the game' - Eamon Dunphy on why he believes VAR has to be used in football

Referee, Craig Pawson makes a decision via VAR during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on January 27, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Referee, Craig Pawson makes a decision via VAR during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on January 27, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Eamon Dunphy has backed the use of video replays in top level football matches, despite the confusion that reigned in Saturday's FA Cup fourth round clash between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anifeld.

West Brom had a goal disallowed and Liverpool had a penalty awarded to them on an night when VAR was given a less than glowing report by some observers (even though all the decisions were right in the final analysis), yet Dunphy has told RTÉ  2fm's Game On that the sport is right to persist with video replays for officials.

He is even calling for more use of the VAR system, even though he admits there are problems that need to be ironed out.

"I'm totally for it without reservation," stated Dunphy. "When you start anything new like this there are bound to be teething problems, and the referee himself and his officials might not know the protocol precisely.

"The one I would say is that a not of the problems of the three or four-minute (wait) would be alleviated if the fans in the stadium could see what was going on and what the issues were. That is a flaw, but that's easily fixed.

"The guy (Jake Livermore) who fouled (Mo Salah for the penalty) was cheating. We've got to stop cheating; it's a cancer in the game.

"This is why this technology is so important. There are things assistants and referees cannot see that are happening.

"What's destroying the game is bad decision making because of either cheating, gamesmanship, the game is too quick or the referees aren't good enough."

Dunphy believes big screens need to be installed in all ground where games using the VAR system will be used so that supporters can follow the decision making process, but he insisted the technology should be embraced.

"There will be diehards like Alan Shearer and a few others that don't want it, they say it will slow the game down," he added.

"We need it and we need more of it. If you get the right result that's the most important thing and it won't slow the game down once people learn how to use it more efficiently.

"Saturday night was the first go at Anfield. There are lessons to be learned from the problems we've had introducing it but it's essential that the right result and justice happens on the football pitch."

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