Tuesday, November 5, 2019

VAR Is Being Misused - Cesar Azpilicueta


The Chelsea captain was dumbfounded by the decision to award Watford a penalty against his side on Saturday. Cesar Azpilicueta says the Premier League’s use of VAR is "difficult to understand," as the system spent yet another weekend in the headlines.

After Roberto Firmino’s armpit was adjudged fractionally offside for Liverpool against Aston Villa, Watford was awarded a highly contentious penalty against Chelsea in Saturday’s evening kick-off with Jorginho adjudged to have fouled Gerard Deulofeu, who scored the spot-kick.

The system, apparently brought in to help eliminate controversial refereeing decisions, was questioned again on Sunday as Heung-min Son was sent off for a trip on Everton’s Andre Gomes.

The midfielder also collided with Tottenham’s Serge Aurier and was stretchered off with a severe injury, but many said the VAR shouldn't have upgraded the yellow card into a red.

"We have a lot of meetings about the VAR," Azpilicueta said. "There is a screen on the pitch for the ref to look and see why he made the decision not to whistle for a penalty.

"We are not using the system in the right way, which is something to help the referees make the right decision. They are human, the same as players.

"We make mistakes, but why not use the whole system in the right way? That's my big point in this case and in other cases that we have seen. It could help."

Video evidence has done little to take subjective decisions out of the game, with debates around ‘clear and obvious’ errors, the suitability of new handball rules, and the well-documented deficiencies in camera frame rates that make genuinely accurate offside calls impossible.




Azpilicueta has fallen foul of VAR himself this season, celebrating a goal against Liverpool, which was eventually chalked off.

Still, he says he is happy to offer his assistance in making sure the system is used productively, and he has echoed the views of those calling for the on-field referees to make the final decision.

"It is sometimes difficult to understand," he added.

"I felt that in my self when I had a goal ruled out from the VAR after 10 seconds, which is very disappointing.

"But when we have to say the VAR has to help the referee when it is a clear and obvious mistake, it should be straight away.

Why not instead of being in the middle of the pitch, he could go to the touchline and see as many replays that he needs to know because it is a big decision, and it's worth it to spend one extra minute to make the right decision.

"We had meetings, and sometimes I'm happy to help when they need to. My biggest disappointment is we're not using the full system in the right way when we could do it and spend the same amount of time."

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