West Brom boss Sam Allardyce believes VAR is turning the rules of football into a ‘absolute mockery’.
VAR was once more the centre of attention at the weekend in the Baggies’ 1-1 stalemate with Manchester United.
Referee Craig Pawson awarded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side a penalty when Semi Ajayi was deemed to have fouled Harry Maguire. VAR reviewed the decision, after which Pawson was recommended to consult the pitchside monitor, and after doing so he overturned his decision.
West Brom boss Sam Allardyce believes VAR is making a mockery out of football’s rules
VAR was the centre of attention as his side earned a point at home to Manchester United
However, the technology did not check to see if United captain Maguire was in an offside position to begin with, and while insisting he was previously in favour of VAR, Allardyce insists it is now causing more ‘confusion and chaos’ than good.
‘It’s bizarre. They’re making an absolute mockery of the rules and the laws of the game,’ Allardyce told talkSPORT.
‘I was an advocate for VAR, but unfortunately the change of the rules and the introduction of VAR – and this is well before I took the manager’s job at West Brom, this was two-and-a-half years out of football – is making it worse not better.
‘So whatever everybody is saying, the confusion is causing chaos and it’s making everything worse. It’s hitting the headlines about what the rules are or aren’t, instead of talking about the beautiful game.
United skipper Harry Maguire won a penalty after he was challenged by Semi Ajayi
‘Unfortunately it’s making too big an impression in the wrong way for me. That’s really sad when we have such a great league.
‘I was an advocate of it for many, many years, but whether the referees need to clarify the rules more or not, but for me they’re using it far too often and not only on what should be the clear and obvious.’
It is the second time in as many times that Allardyce has called for clarification, telling Sky Sports after the game on Sunday: ‘The confusing thing is Maguire is offside before it, and he’s not just offside, he’s well offside.
‘So I don’t know why it has to be a decision on whether it was or wasn’t a penalty, what should have been the decision was ‘this was an offside, let’s play on’.
The centre back went crashing to the floor as Bruno Fernandes’ cross was coming over to him
‘I’m massively confused about that situation and I’d like some clarification from somebody by saying Maguire is stood in an offside position when the ball comes in, then there’s this kerfuffle about the penalty when it could have been easily cleared up straight away by saying Maguire was offside, rather than the referee having to come over to the monitor.
‘What that meant was if he thought it was a penalty and he gave it and it was the winner, that would have been an absolute injustice to what had happened here today.’
United centre-back Maguire had his own complaints about VAR’s role in the penalty incident after the draw, which the visitors salvaged thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ sumptuous strike after Mbaye Diagne had given the Hawthorns outfit the lead.
In a thinly-veiled dig at Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, Maguire said: ‘Ever since people from other teams have spoken about us we’ve had nothing, absolutely nothing,’ Maguire told MUTV.
Referee Craig Pawson went over to the monitor and reversed his original penalty decision
‘I was so certain it was a penalty,’ the United captain also told Sky Sports.
‘I don’t understand why he’s been sent to the monitor to check it. I’m goal-side of the defender and I feel a touch on my shoulder, he’s pulling me back and there’s a clip on my heels.
‘It’s minimal but it’s a penalty. When he points to the spot you think there’s no chance he overturns it. There are decisions going against us.’
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also claimed VAR ‘someone must have fallen asleep in the VAR office’ after the controversial incident.
But VAR did not check whether Maguire was in an offside position before contact was made
‘I think we all want consistency and a fair game, but then again, there’s human error that we all expect from our game,’ Solskjaer said in his post-match press conference.
‘With the penalty we could have had today, it is a clear foul. If you only look at the clash between their centre-back and Harry, it’s a foul but from what I see, Harry was in an offside position.
‘So someone must have been asleep in that VAR office in Stockley Park. Someone needs to brew some coffee because it could have been easily avoided by saying, ‘he’s offside, let’s move on’.’