February 15 – Despite a hugely controversial offside call at Ajax that went Real Madrid’s way and could have changed the outcome of the game, the Video Assistant Referee system “worked perfectly” at all stadiums that hosted first leg games in the last 16 of the Champions League this week, according to UEFA’s chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti.
VAR was implemented for the first time in Europe’s premier club competition and Rosetti expressed his overall satisfaction even though VAR ruled out Ajax’s first-half opener against Real Madrid after it deemed Dusan Tadic to be offside when Nicolas Tagliafico headed the ball past Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
UEFA stood by the decision to disallow the goal but questions were raised over the time it took to reach a verdict, with the restart delayed by nearly three minutes. Real went on to win 2-1.
Rosetti promised to look into improving the system’s efficiency.
“The most important thing is that the referee took the right decision. Accuracy is more important than speed,” Rosetti said.
“We have to take into account that this was a very complex situation where the VAR had to check two possible offside situations and the referee also had to consider the interference of the attacking player.”
Rosetti said VAR also reviewed but did not intervene in two other decisions – a Porto handball outside the box at AS Roma and a delayed offside call against Paris St Germain at Manchester United.
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