Kane was clearly offside, fumes Blues boss as VAR debate rages on
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Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be used in the Premier League next season, but issues need to be ironed out first
Maurizio Sarri believes referees in England are still not ready to use Video Assistant Referee (VAR) after the system played a big part in Tuesday’s League Cup semi-final first leg between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
Spurs clinched a 1-0 victory at Wembley Stadium after Harry Kane scored from the penalty spot in the 27th minute.
The spot-kick wasn’t initially awarded with the forward flagged offside, but VAR had a look at the incident and when Kane was ruled to be onside, Chelsea custodian Kepa Arrizabalaga was also adjudged to have brought down the striker inside the area.
It took around 90 seconds for the decision to be made, but that was not even the start of the debate.
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Post-match Sarri showed Sky Sports pictures of Kane appearing to look offside from the cameras Chelsea used during the match.
When asked about VAR, he said: “In Italy there is VAR. In the first period it was a disaster, also in Italy it was very difficult for the referee to get used to the system.
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“I think that at the moment here the referees are not ready to use it in the right way - the system.
“For example, apart from the image from our camera - Kane was offside, clearly offside, but it is not important.
“I think it is more important that the linesman stopped the run, he didn’t follow the ball, so for the players on the pitch it is clearly offside and so I think he had a big influence on our defenders.
“I think they need to study better the system and it is very strange in the Premier League there is not the system, but in the Carabao Cup suddenly there is the system. Of course it is very strange for us, for the players, but also for the referees I think.”
Some may counter that this is just sour grapes from Sarri, but he makes a number of valid points about VAR.
As soon as the linesman raised his flag, the Chelsea defenders did stop and in other situations that may prove crucial to the final decision made.
If Kane had gone around Kepa and fired into the empty net, VAR would have given a goal, but had some of the opposition carried on, they may have stopped the shot on the line.
This is just one example of the teething problems which remain with the system and this does not even address the camera angles Chelsea were able to show.
What would not be welcomed next season would be various other clubs showing their own clips to prove VAR is wrong.
Sarri added: “From our camera it was clearly offside, but it depends of the position of the camera.
“I think if the camera is not in line, it is very difficult to realise if it is offside or not. You need the camera I think in line with the last man.”
The debate will continue, but what’s clear is more work needs to be done before VAR is introduced next season.