Football lawmaker speaks out as Sheffield United rue VAR again

VAR technology should only be used to reverse “clear and obvious” errors regarding offside decisions, the general secretary of the International Football Association board has reminded, following another controversial weekend which saw five Premier League clubs, including Sheffield United, have goals disallowed following video reviews.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 10:20 am

Lukas Brud, who leads the game’s law-making body, revealed he plans to reissue guidance less than 24 hours after United’s Chris Wilder and Nuno Espirito Santo of Wolverhampton Wanderers both criticised the system in the wake of their teams’ respective defeats by Manchester City and Liverpool.

“Clear and obvious still remains,” Brud told the Press Association news agency. “There should not be a lot of time spent to find something marginal.”

Wilder was frustrated by two incidents during United’s visit to the Etihad Stadium. Although VAR official Stuart Attwell appeared powerless to rule-out Sergio Aguero’s opener for the hosts after referee Chris Kavanagh had obstructed John Fleck, his earlier ruling that Lys Mousset had strayed offside before beating Claudio Bravo appeared to contravene the advice Brud issued today.

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Oliver Norwood of Sheffield United leads the complaints to referee Chris Kavanagh during the game at Manchester City: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Brud, who is expected to wait until after the IFAB’s annual general meeting in February before republishing its best practice guidelines, added: “If something is not clear on the first sight, then it’s not obvious and it shouldn’t be considered.

“Looking at one camera angle is one thing but looking at 15, trying to find something that was potentially not even there, this was not the idea of the VAR principle.”