For every premier league fixture, there is always a set of VAR officials present in a technical room in the stadium following through all of the match actions and occurrences in order to be able to better advise and assist the on-field referees.
Video Assistant Referees, popularly known as which VAR was conceived by the refereeing 2.0 project in accordance with the rules of FIFA and UEFA has the technical work of reviewing certain incidents that take place during a football match. Even though the VAR is charged with the technical work of reviewing incidents during a match and helping in getting rid of controversies and referee mistakes, overtime, it has made so many wrong penalty calls that have affected the results of football matches. In fact, a number of pundits and analysts have questioned its essence since the game is still filled with controversies despite its use.
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On 28th November 2021, Everton visited Brentford, in a game which they ended up losing 1-0 via a first half penalty from Ivan Toney. Everton felt they should have had a penalty of their own too, after striker Salmon Rondon was brought down in the box, but the referee waved play off the appeals from the Everton players. The case was referred to VAR, but to the surprise of football fans, the officials recommended that the decision of the on-field referee stands. Many pundits and former referees have questioned this decision since then, and as can be seen from the opinions of Everton fans and officials on NewsNow Everton, this was a decision which they do not agree with. Without an iota of doubt, the fans will wish for better officiating in the next set of Everton fixtures if they are to forget this incident.
There is a long list of the number of times that the VAR officials have gotten penalty decisions wrong since its inception. In the 2020/2021 premier league season, over 128 goals were affected by this decision with Chelsea’s Timo Werner having a staggering 13 goals ruled out by the officials.
Aside from the incident involving Everton at Brentford, there have been other times since the beginning of the premier league season where the VAR reviews have affected a club’s result. Here are 4 other instances where the VAR officials got it all wrong.
On September 18, Arsenal won a keenly contested game against Burnley by the odd goal at the Turf Moor. In the 69th minute of the game, the home side were awarded a penalty by referee Anthony Taylor after their goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale appeared to have upended Matej Vydra in the box. However, a review followed soon, and the recommendation was that the challenge didn’t warrant a penalty. Further replays showed the initial decision might have been the correct one, but again, the appeals were waved away and the home side lost the game.
On November 7, Everton was yet again at the receiving end of another dubious VAR penalty decision in their home game against Tottenham. Initially, referee Chris Kavanagh had awarded a penalty in favor of the Toffees after Brazilian forward Richarlison appeared to have been fouled by Hugo Lloris in the box. What appeared to be a clear contact was overturned by the VAR officials, and this caused a lot of uproars with Everton fans and some sections of the media calling the decision a joke.
On Sunday 19 December 2021, Liverpool played an exciting 2-2 draw with London giants, Tottenham Hotspur at the Tottenham Stadium. While the quality of football on display was so good to see, several VAR calls had to dampen the game, but our focus here is the Liverpool ‘s penalty appeal that was dismissed by VAR after Diogo Jota was clearly brought down in the box by Emerson Royal. The officials seem to think the nudge wasn’t good enough to bring the player down, with the explanation being that Jota wanted to go down. This looked like a big mistake, and it may have cost Liverpool all 3 points, as they would have been out of sight if the penalty was awarded at the time.
Manchester City may have humiliated Newcastle by beating them 4-0 at the St. James Park (their home ground) on Sunday 19 December. Yet, Newcastle were right to suggest the result could have been different if the VAR officials had awarded them a penalty which they think they deserved when the result was still 0-0. After some nice pressing by Ryan Fraser, he seemed to have forced City goalkeeper, Ederson to foul him. However, the officials seem to think there was not enough contact and the appeal was waved away to the dismay of the Newcastle fans.
Away from the penalty incidents, it is no news that Everton’s major nickname is the Toffees. So, why are they called this name? Some people regard this nickname as strange because Everton plays in blue and not brown. They are also referred to as Toffeemen. The enduring nickname toffee is closely related to the origin of the football club. The popular opinion is that this is as a result of the two toffee shops that were located in the Everton village where the club was formed. Ever since then, this nickname has stuck with the club which is generally recognized as the club’s nickname today.
The effects of a wrong call by the officials could be huge for some football clubs. For instance, a team like Everton whose forms have not been great this season may be forced to fight a relegation battle if these absurd decisions continue to go against them. As a consequence, this may affect their chances of attracting the right players to the club too.
According to Everton news and several Everton transfer news, the club is in the market for new players such as Ross Barkley, Jonathan Ikone, and a host of others. The truth is, most of these players won’t be interested in joining a sinking cheap, and this is why these decisions must be properly checked going forward.
VAR was instituted to help solve controversies in football, but it seems to be adding more to it right now. Here are 5 instances it has gotten penalty decisions wrongly this season.
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