November 27 – Still badly flawed or desperately overdue? The debate over the need for video technology rages on, this time after Barcelona were denied a perfectly good goal in the top-of-the-table clash at Valencia at the weekend.
Barca have hit out at the referee and his assistants for failing to award Lionel Messi’s first half effort that was dropped by Valencia goalkeeper Neto and bounced over the line before being dragged back.
In the absence of goal-line technology, the game was allowed to continue and the decision, seen by millions of television viewers worldwide, enraged Messi and his teammates.
“The referee made a monumental error, even I saw it from the middle of the pitch,” Barca defender Jordi Alba told reporters after the 1-1 draw. “We watched it at halftime and it was clear. It was very clear. You can interpret a foul in a certain way but plays like this have to be seen.”
Spain’s top flight, unlike its rivals, has so far shunned the experimental use of video assistant referees but the Spanish football federation (RFEF) announced this month that the system would be used from the start of the next campaign.
“There will be a lot of things that VARs can’t clear up, but I hope that they can help with things likes today,” said Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets. “It’s an evolution which we need. It’s something we need. And not just for this goal.
“La Liga has the best players in the world, it’s the best league in the world and it deserves the best technology. The goal was over the line, but neither the referee nor the assistant saw it.”
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