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VAR system a shambles – Shearer

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believed the video assistant referee (VAR) system let down his team after Willian’s penalty appeal was rejected during the FA Cup win over Norwich.

The system was being trialled for the FA Cup third-round replay.

Conte felt referee Graham Scott should have been told by the video official to watch a replay of Timm Klose’s tackle on Willian, who was booked for diving.

“If you watch the replay you see very clearly it is a penalty,” Conte said.

Video referees have the choice of telling the match official he has made a clear and obvious error, which in this instance Mike Jones, in a studio in London, did not feel was the case.

Had he ruled differently, Scott could have overturned the decision based on his word – or watched it on a screen himself.

Pedro and Alvaro Morata were sent off during extra-time – before Chelsea won on penalties – with both players being shown a first yellow card for diving.

But Willian’s booking was the most controversial moment by far.

Conte told BBC Sport: “I think that there was a penalty but not on Morata, on Willian.

“With Willian, the referee heard what the other referee watched and decided to continue to play. If we want to try to use this new system, it is important for the referee to wait, especially in this incident that is not so clear.

“And then when the referee that is watching had a doubt, he has to call the referee to watch and he can make a decision. The referee on the pitch has to make the decision, not one off the pitch.

“We can improve it for sure but we need to try to take the best solution. The final decision is for the ref on the pitch. Otherwise, why is there this ref?

“The mistake wasn’t of the ref on the pitch but the person watching. When you see this, you have to call the referee.

“And if you don’t want to make a decision and you have a doubt, you need to call to the ref to watch the footage and make the decision.”

  • How does VAR work?

Norwich manager Daniel Farke said: “I don’t want to criticise the referees, because they were on the other side to the incident and they were some really tough decisions to make.

“There are mistakes in football, players make them, managers make them, and referees make them. It is how it is.”

‘Shambles’ – what BBC pundits said

Former Newcastle and England striker Alan Shearer: “You saw VAR work perfectly well last night [in the Leicester v Fleetwood tie] but you’ve seen now why I was so doubtful because now it is a shambles.

“We all think it is a clear and obvious penalty and to make it worse, the referee books Willian for diving. Who on earth is looking at that screen and doesn’t think it is a penalty? That is why it is all wrong because it is someone else’s opinion.

“The referee got the one right in the second half with Pedro but you have another ref looking at the Willian one on a TV screen, slowed down. Shambles.”

Former Aston Villa and England striker Dion Dublin: “It is a shocking decision. I don’t know how he has got it wrong. They are watching the same replays as us and it is clearly and obviously a penalty.”

Phil Neville, former Manchester United and England defender, on BBC Radio 5 live: “I’m confused. I am not a fan. I like the English game as it is, with talking points.

“Referees get decisions right and get some wrong. That is football. If it wasn’t for VAR tonight, we’d be talking about it maybe being a penalty.

“Now we’ll be talking about it for the next two days because of VAR.”

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How does VAR work?

‘People just like to complain’ – your thoughts

Chris Mertens: All this complaining about VAR – look at cricket: “umpires call”. Surely that Willian “pen” falls into that bracket. Probably is a penalty, but not given on field so go with the ref. Here to support officials not overrule every marginal call.

Tom: Before VAR came in, people complained that it would take the drama out of football, now that it’s here people are complaining that its not good enough at clearing things up. People just like to complain.

Garry Jones: What is the point of VAR if it’s not going to be used properly?

Chris Faz: Earlier VAR confirms that a corner was the correct decision but when it comes to a penalty shout. they decide not to use it. Brilliant.

News Reporter

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