American Football

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino does not believe VAR will help and could ‘kill emotion’ in football after FA Cup debacle


The Spurs boss branded the first half 'embarrassing' during the game with Rochdale

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Boss Mauricio Pochettino branded the latest VAR debacle ‘embarrassing’ after Tottenham came through a chaotic FA Cup replay against Rochdale.

Spurs had two goals disallowed, were denied one penalty and awarded another all at the hands of the video assistant referee during a farcical first half at Wembley.

It led to more criticism of the system with BT Sport pundit Robbie Savage calling it 'ridiculous, bizarre and shambolic' while Jermaine Jenas said it was 'comical'.

The incidents totally overshadowed the efforts of League One's bottom club Rochdale, who cancelled out Son Heung-min's opening goal through Stephen Humphrys and also hit the woodwork with the score at 1-1.

It also overshadowed Fernando Llorente's perfect second-half left-foot, right-foot, header hat-trick, and a first Spurs goal for youngster Kyle Walker-Peters as the hosts eventually ran out 6-1 winners.

And Spurs boss Pochettino fears football will be the big loser unless the system is overhauled.

"The first half was a little bit embarrassing for everyone," he said.

"I'm not sure that system is going to help. We love the game we know, football is about emotion but if we are going to kill emotion then people who love football will not be happy.

"I think football is about to make a mistake. Referees can make a mistake. When we watched the action at half-time it was difficult to take some decisions.

"The referee is the boss on the pitch and has the last word, always. And my worry is now we are talking about a machine and not football."

VAR had already caused a mild stir before kick-off by requiring the lines on the pitch to be repainted, after they were initially painted dark blue to help the officials in the wintry conditions.

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