English Premier League VAR has been an issue since the 2021/2022 season. So far in the 2022-2023 season, the controversy associated with the VAR has grown more pronounced in the league.
As several Premier League games produced contentious decisions on Saturday, managers clashed about how the video assistance referee should be used.
For instance, when Maxwel Cornet’s goal in the 90th minute, during Chelsea vs West Ham clash, was disallowed because Jarrod Bowen was deemed to have fouled Edouard Mendy in the build-up, David Moyes referred to the judgment as “scandalous.”
In another scenario, Newcastle had what Eddie Howe called a “perfectly excellent goal” ruled out, while Leeds manager Jesse Marsch was dismissed for his response to two controversial penalty decisions that cost his team a victory over Brentford.
Alam Shearer, who was match day pundit, said: “Players and managers have been let down today, it’s been a terrible day – they have been let down by decisions like that.”
Many players and coaches believe that the individuals handling the alleged outcome shown by the assistant referee are the problem, not the VAR.
There was only one case, though, in which a referee disregarded instructions to check the pitchside monitor and stuck with his on-field judgment.
That occurred at Nottingham Forest, where Brennan Johnson converted a penalty after Michael Oliver had awarded one for handball five minutes earlier.
Some of the cases of controversial VAR decisions are listed below:
English Premier League: Newcastle v Crystal Palace Saga
At St. James’ Park, Newcastle and Crystal Palace drew 0-0, but only after the hosts had a goal disallowed.
Although Newcastle believed the midfielder had been pushed by Mitchell, Tyrick Mitchell turned the ball into his own net, and referee Michael Salisbury ruled it out for a foul by Joe Willock on goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Patrick Vieira, the manager of Palace, disagreed with the decision, stating that: “It was a clear foul and if it wasn’t the keeper gets the ball in his hands. The referee makes the right decision.”
In Brentford’s 5-2 victory over Leeds, there were two penalties—one that was called and one that wasn’t.
As a result of a foul by Luis Sinisterra, who VAR determined to have obtained the ball but taken the player first, Ivan Toney was given a penalty that gave his team the lead.
Leeds, however, were denied a penalty of their own when Crysencio Summerville was brought down by Aaron Hickey.
Thomas Frank, the manager of Brentford, had a different perspective, he said: “I’ll let VAR and the referees decide that one. After the game, I saw our own one back, and it’s definitely a penalty.”
Stamford Bridge Late Drama
Even though West Ham was denied a late equalizer, Chelsea rallied to defeat West Ham 2-1 in a thrilling match at Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel, the manager of Chelsea, claimed he believed his goalkeeper had been fouled before Michail Antonio gave West Ham the lead, but he supported the decision to not allow Cornet’s late goal for the visitors.
Mendy parried the ball in Cornet’s direction, and Cornet pounced. However, after being instructed to check the monitor, referee Andrew Madley determined that Bowen had fouled the goalkeeper.
So far the VAR decisions and rule have not favored many clubs in the Premier League since it’s inception, Chelsea have been on the receiving end and their fans aren’t happy about it.
Will VAR implementation be fair and square or will it be abolished from English Premier League if the controversies linger? That is what we can’t determine yet but time shall tell if that will happen anytime soon.