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VAR vote: ‘Get rid of it or get better’ – Anthony Gordon hits out at VAR

Written by on May 16, 2024

Newcastle forward Anthony Gordon said he “doesn’t understand the point” of having video assistant referees (VAR) in football.

Gordon was denied a first-half penalty despite appearing to be caught by Manchester United’s Sofyan Amrabat in Newcastle’s 3-2 loss at Old Trafford.

With Newcastle 1-0 behind at the time, on-field referee Rob Jones did not give a spot-kick and was then not told to review the incident by VAR official Jarred Gillett.

“I have watched it back and it is a clear penalty,” said Gordon. “He [Amrabat] goes down my Achilles and pushes me in the back. I knew straight away, that’s why I didn’t appeal. I waited for the VAR to check, I told my team-mates ‘it was a clear penalty’.

“I don’t mind the referee getting it wrong on the pitch, but I don’t understand the point of VAR. Either get rid of it or get better. It’s that simple, there’s too many mistakes.”

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe added: “I thought it was a penalty. I thought that’s what VAR was good at.

“I have always been in an era where the referee makes a decision and I back it. I would possibly keep it [VAR] with offsides, but I want more power with referees.”

Gordon’s comments came hours after it was announced that Premier League clubs will vote on whether to remove VAR from next season at their annual general meeting next month.

Wolves have formally submitted a resolution to the Premier League which will trigger a vote when the 20 member clubs meet in Harrogate on 6 June.

Earlier on Wednesday, ex-England captain Wayne Rooney, speaking on Sky Sports, said he preferred the game without VAR.

“I don’t like VAR and if it’s there and they get all the decisions right then fair enough but it’s taken all the enjoyment out of the game,” he added.

“You’re better off letting referees ref it and understand they will make mistakes. I’d much rather see the game without it.”

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