Postecoglou on VAR: ‘Never been a fan of it’

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou said he is not a fan of the video assistant referee (VAR) system as it complicates matters, after his team benefited from an error by the officials in Saturday’s clash against Liverpool.

The referee group Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) admitted it had been the wrong decision to disallow Liverpool winger Luis Díaz’s goal in the first half of the match in Tottenham’s 2-1 home win, blaming human error.

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“I think I’m on record saying that I’ve never really been a fan of it since it came in,” Postecoglou, who previously managed Celtic, said to reporters after the game.

“Not for any other reason than I think that it complicates areas of the game that I thought were pretty clear in the past, but I can see at the same time why it was inevitable that technology would come in. We have to deal with it.

“The game is littered with historical refereeing decisions that weren’t right, but we all accepted that it was part of the game because we’re dealing with human beings,” Postecoglou said.

“I think that people are under the misconception that VAR is going to be errorless. I don’t think there’s any technology because so much of our game isn’t factual. It’s down to interpretation, and they’re still human beings.

“When you put such a high bar on something, it invariably is going to fail, so if people are thinking that VAR is going to be something that at some point that is perfect, that’s never going to happen.”

Liverpool were beaten after a Joël Matip stoppage-time own goal, having been reduced to nine men following the dismissals of midfielder Curtis Jones and winger Diogo Jota.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, whose side last tasted defeat by Spurs in 2017 and had lost once to them in their previous 21 league games, said VAR’s decision to disallow Diaz’s goal changed the momentum of the game.

The result took Spurs up to second in the Premier League standings, a point off reigning champions Manchester City, while Liverpool are a further point back in fourth after seven matches.

“Who does that help now?,” Klopp said when asked about the referees’ statement. “We will not get points for it, so it doesn’t help. Nobody expects 100% right decisions on-field, but I think we all thought when VAR came in, it might make things easier…

“We score that goal. It was top, top, top, outstandingly well played. In a game where you don’t get a lot to feel better, you make that, that’s super-important information, that’s how we can hurt them, that’s how we can beat them, stuff like this.

“So, it was super-difficult, but the boys dealt extremely well with it.”

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