April 1 – Former UEFA president Michel Platini, who always resisted extending goalline technology to other forms of scientific aids for referees, has once again waded into the debate over the video assistant refereeing system, partly blaming the media for its implementation.
Still banned over that infamous ‘disloyal payment’ from Sepp Blatter and whose suspension technically runs until October, Platini has always been an opponent of VAR and told an Italian website that it was “a forced change.”
“(It was) the fault of you journalists, who pressured. Whenever a referee was wrong, you asked for more justice,” he told Gazetta.it. “But that gimmick no longer provides justice. I know, because I played in front of the cameras.”
Platini’s comments will only serve to fuel the debate over the rights and wrongs of a system which, on balance, is welcomed by players, officials and fans despite a number of high-profile mistakes in its interpretation.
The latest club to fall victim to the lack of VAR is Cardiff City who might well be relegated from the English Premier League as a result of a single incredulous error that would have been corrected with VAR.
Cardiff had outplayed big-spenders Chelsea on Sunday only to be denied by an outrageous late equaliser that prompted Cardiff manager Neil Warnock to describe Premier League officials as the “worst in the world“.
Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta was several yards offside when he levelled in the 84th minute, with the re-energised visitors then going to grab victory in the dying moments.
Commentators were totally at a loss to explain how the officials didn’t spot the infringement and even Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, whose fans had ironically been calling for his sacking earlier in the game because of a dire display, later admitted his team got lucky.
“The biggest and best league in the world but probably the worst officials at the minute,” fumed Warnock. “Chelsea know they have got away with murder today.”
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