Thursday 18 January 2018

Here’s what Twitter made of VAR’s low-key competitive debut in English football

VAR will certainly have more difficult nights than this on which to prove itself.

A view of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, which was used in the FA Cup, Third Round match at the AMEX Stadium between Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace
A view of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, which was used in the FA Cup, Third Round match at the AMEX Stadium between Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace

By Max McLean

Despite not featuring in a major capacity, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology was the talk of the town during its debut in competitive English football.

Featuring in Brighton’s 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round, VAR prompted plenty of chat on social media despite its irrelevance for most, if not all, of the match.

VAR can be used if a clear error has been made regarding goals, penalties, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

There was certainly interest in the introduction of the tech.

But despite apprehension from some of the viewing public, VAR was far from necessary in the game’s opening stages.

Some hoped to see more of the potentially revolutionary feature.

And towards the end of the game they almost got their wish.

After Bakary Sako’s thumping strike had levelled the scores in the second half for Palace, Glenn Murray grabbed a winner for Brighton in sort-of controversial circumstances.

Did it brush his arm?

Some joked that the incident required technology from other sports such as cricket to make an intervention.

Gary Lineker had this to say.

Meanwhile others didn’t feel there was much to review in the first place.

VAR will certainly have more difficult nights than this on which to prove itself. Does it have a place in English football in the long term?

Press Association

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