EPL

Sarri: Premier League referees not ready for VAR

By Sports Desk January 11, 2019

Maurizio Sarri has claimed that Premier League referees are "not ready" for VAR and does not believe that the system should be introduced.

VAR did not come to Chelsea's aid in their EFL Cup semi-final first-leg defeat to Tottenham on Tuesday when the technology was used to award Harry Kane a penalty.

Kane had initially been flagged offside at Wembley before being scythed down by Kepa Arrizabalaga, but referee Michael Oliver changed the decision following consultation with his video assistant.

The VAR for that game was Chris Kavanagh - who will be in place to take charge of Chelsea's Premier League clash with Newcastle United on Saturday - and, although Sarri insisted he does not blame the officials, he reiterated his scepticism that the system will be a success when it is introduced into the top-flight next season

"The problem is not the referee or one or the other. The problem is they are not ready to use the VAR," Sarri told a news conference.

"It is not easy because if you look at the linesman he stopped his run and for the player and this is a signal of offside.

"But it is normal. They use the system for the first time in the League Cup and so they need only to get used to using the system.

"I don't like VAR but it is only my opinion because we risk to change the atmosphere in the stadium. You score but have to wait for 30 seconds to celebrate.

"I am used to playing with the system because in Italy we used it starting three years ago. I don't like but it is only my opinion. I prefer like now in England."

Chelsea produced an alternative camera angle in the wake of Tuesday's defeat, which showed that Kane may well have been offside.

But Sarri acknowledged that Chelsea cannot blame the technology for their loss, and instead should focus on their own performance.

"It was a mistake but it wasn't really very important," Sarri added.

"We are talking about 10 seconds of the match we have to think to the other 89 minutes. It is not important.

"It is only a referee decision but I have to analyse the full match and we need to think how to solve our problems. We don't need to think about the referee. It is not important for us."

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