With Video Assisted Refereeing coming in for more fire on Saturday night, Hawk-eye have deemed it necessary to step in and explain the latest controversy.
Juan Mata thought he had doubled Manchester United’s lead against Huddersfield at John Smith’s Stadium, only for the goal to ultimately be ruled out for offside. However, viewers were stunned when BT Sport displayed graphic purporting to be those that the VAR used to make their decision – and line across the pitch was anything but straight:
Did a toddler hand draw those VAR lines?! I love the curve around his knee. Someone’s having a joke ? pic.twitter.com/c4iutnJBBt
— Lynsey Hipgrave (@lynseyhipgrave1) February 17, 2018
The graphic was the subject of fierce debate for the remainder of the match itself, with the broadcast displaying it frequently and it subsequently became a hot topic in the post-match discussion.
On Sunday, VAR providers Hawk-Eye took to their social media channel to confirm that the image used by BT Sport was in fact down to a technical error on their part, and that VAR Neil Swarbrick had a much better view of the incident:
A technical issue led to an incorrect graphic being provided by Hawk-Eye to @btsportfootball last night. To confirm, the #VAR saw the correct image with the correct lines to make the decision. This was a case of the wrong image being provided to the broadcaster and we apologise. pic.twitter.com/QqbAWVfbi1
— Hawk-Eye Innovations (@Hawkeye_view) February 18, 2018
The statement reads:
“A technical issue led to an incorrect graphic being provided by Hawk-Eye to BT Sport last night.
“To confirm, the VAR saw the correct image with the correct lines to make the decision. This was a case of the wrong image being provided to the broadcaster and we apologise.“
Despite the apology, the debate surrounding VAR in football is likely to rage on for the foreseeable future.