The VAR system has been a topic of extensive discussion this week, especially in the aftermath of Liverpool’s 2-1 loss to Tottenham. Gareth Southgate added his perspective to the debate on Thursday during a press conference where he unveiled the England squad for the upcoming friendly against Australia and the Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy. Southgate expressed his disapproval, stating, “I’m not a fan of it.”
England manager Gareth Southgate has weighed into the row over VAR, admitting he doesn’t “like it” and we “should just accept referees’ decisions”.
The Three Lions boss was quizzed about the technology after announcing his squad for the upcoming friendly against Australia and the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier with Italy.
The merits of VAR have been heavily debated this week as the fallout from Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Liverpool continues.
PGMOL admitted to “significant human error” and released the VAR audio of the decision to rule out Luis Diaz’s first-half strike when the game was goalless. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp subsequently called for the match to be replayed.
On Thursday, Southgate was asked about his thoughts on the use of VAR.
“When you say I was at the forefront, I wasn’t for it,” he said.
“And my first experience of it…we’re still not sure if the Jesse Lingard goal that knocked us out of a semi-final was legit or not,” he added, referencing a goal Lingard had ruled out in England’s defeat to the Netherlands in the 2019 UEFA Nations League semi-final.
“I don’t like it. I think we should just accept referees’ decisions, but I also know that we’re unlikely to go back to a world where we don’t have technology as part of that decision-making process.
“It was never going to resolve every issue and I don’t think there is any solution that will achieve that.”
Earlier this week, Sports expert and former Arsenal defender Martin Keown spoke out about the controversial decision that cost Liverpool against Spurs.
He said: “You can’t go back. They’ve got a set of rules which means you can’t go back. There are four reasons, but there should have been a fifth: for unforeseen circumstances, which this was.
“Why have we handcuffed ourselves because fairness was lost on the day.”
Sport expert Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, believed that more responsibility needed to be shown when making the call.
“This is high level stuff, this is the Premier League. Beamed around the world. Huge investment in our game,” he said.
“In situations like these, I’m observing who is assuming responsibility. Who is the leader stepping up and taking charge? It appears that everyone is involved, but there’s a lack of clarity regarding who is assuming ownership, and that is the issue.”