Premier League explains VAR decisions in Man City win at West Ham
The governing body, which has introduced the use of video refs this season, has moved to head off criticism of the new system after an amazing SIX decisions were reviewed by the video refs, based in Stockley Park.
The biggest call saw the first Premier League goal to be ruled out by VAR, as Gabriel Jesus was denied a goal when Raheem Sterling was adjudged to have been marginally offside before delivering his cross.
It seemed Sterling’s arm was the only part of his body offside which would have made the goal legitimate, but the league issued a statement which said “David Coote, the VAR in Stockley Park, deemed Sterling to be offside when he received the ball.
“Although the margin of offside was very fine, the technology proved that a part of Sterling’s body, that is not his arms, was just offside.
“So Dean overturned the goal and awarded a free-kick to West Ham where the infringement took place.
“Decisions such as offside are not subjective and are not part of the ‘clear and obvious’ error element of VAR that was introduced in the Premier League this season.”
They also pointed out that although Sterling was clearly upset at the decision, he later said: “It’s difficult during the game, but at the end of the day if the decision is right that’s all that matters.”
Sterling was given the benefit of VAR later in the game as the officials reviewed his second goal, again a very close call.
This time it worked in his favour and the League said: “It was touch and go as to whether he was onside before scoring, but this time he was just the right side of the defender and the goal was allowed to stand after the VAR’s check.”
Next came Sergio Aguero’s penalty which initially, it seemed, was ordered to be re-taken because goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski had moved off his line before saving the spot kick.
But VAR is not used to determine whether keepers are on their line or not – and the league said it was a different reason entirely
“Coote was again called into action after Sergio Aguero’s penalty kick was saved,” they said.
“He spotted that West Ham’s Declan Rice, who was the first to reach the rebound from Lukasz Fabianski’s save, had clearly encroached the penalty area before Aguero had kicked the ball.
“Under the Premier League’s VAR protocol, the VAR can intervene for encroachment by players that has a direct impact on the outcome of the kick.
“Because Rice’s encroachment fulfilled this criteria, the VAR recommended to Dean to have the penalty retaken and the City striker did not pass up the second chance, making it 4-0.”