Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has added another voice to those criticising VAR’s decision to cancel out West Ham’s late equaliser against Chelsea last weekend.
The on-field official Andy Madley did not initially give a foul when Jarrod Bowen collided with Edouard Mendy prior to Maxwel Cornet’s goal but the decision was controversially reversed, condemning the Hammers to a 2-1 defeat. Clattenburg claims there wasn’t enough evidence for VAR to intervene in the way that it did:
“I think when the referee didn’t give a foul on the field, for me that’s where it stays,” he said. “There might be a slight contact as he [Bowen] tried to avoid the goalkeeper but football is a contact sport. I think there is a small contact but I don’t think it was enough. I don’t think it was a foul. The play should carry on, the VAR shouldn’t have interfered so West Ham can feel hard done because the goal was disallowed.”
The PGMOL (Professional Game Match Official Limited) have already acknowledged that referee Madley and VAR operator Jarred Gillett were wrong to award the foul.
There have been a number of incidents where VAR has been used incorrectly by match officials recently. While there have been calls to scrap the use of video technology, that is very unlikely to happen. Where things have to improve is in the competency of referees when it comes to decision making.