VAR has only just come into effect in the Premier League this season, and as expected, it is already dividing opinion.
Leander Dendoncker’s disallowed goal for Wolves at Leicester on Sunday means the innovative technology has already ruled out two goals in the opening weekend of the 2019/20 season.
Goals are being crossed off it is deemed one of the ‘four match-changing incidents’ by the Premier League that are worthy of looking back to see if any infringements have been committed.
Dendoncker thought he had given the visitors the lead at the King Power Stadium shortly after the interval when he fired home from close range.
However, VAR intervened to disallow the effort after replays showed the midfielder’s header had hit Willy Boly’s arm from point-blank range, before he smashed it home.
The Premier League released a statement on Sunday clarifying the decision to award the goal, despite the ball accidentally hitting Boly’s arm.
“IFAB law states that it is a handball offence if a player gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then scores in the opponents’ goal or creates a goal-scoring opportunity. It doesn’t matter if it’s accidental.”
Leicester City fans then proceeded to start chanting ‘VAR! VAR! VAR!” while banging their cardboard clappers.
The latest incident comes after Gabriel Jesus’ effort – which would have put City 2-0 ahead at the time – was chalked off at West Ham on Saturday as Raheem Sterling, who provided the assist for the Brazilian, was adjusted to have been offside by the narrowest of margins.
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It was ruled that Sterling’s shoulder was just ahead of West Ham defender Ryan Fredericks by a matter of millimetres.
There’s no doubting we will see a lot more of these incidents over the course of the season, and while this technology isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it can’t be denied that it adds to the drama and excitement of a Premier League match day.