The Video Assisted Refereeing practice came under fire once again on Saturday evening in Manchester United’s FA Cup clash with Huddersfield.
With Jose Mourinho’s side already leading 1-0 thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s third-minute strike, Juan Mata thought he had doubled Man United’s lead when he rounded Jonas Lossl and slotted into the empty net.
However, the decision was soon referred to the VAR by referee by referee Kevin Friend – and the goal was subsequently ruled out due to Mata apparently taking up an offside position.
Upon replaying the incident, though, question marks were raised by the BT Sport commentary team and watching public on social media about the decision, particularly given the fact that the lines that they could see were not 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
State of the art, they said.
It’ll help the officials make the right decisions, they said.
— FourFourTwo ⚽️ (@FourFourTwo) February 17, 2018
These are the lines of VAR! WHAT THE ACTUAL F is that!???
HE’S ONSIDE! Looks like someone drew it on Microsoft Paint! THE LINES AREN’T EVEN STRAIGHT!
Mata should’ve had that goal given!! JOKE!!! F**K VAR!!! ??????? RT if you agree!! pic.twitter.com/KYXcnN4HbF
— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) February 17, 2018
VAR assistant Neil Swarbrick confirmed later that the lines he had access to were, in fact, straight and that Mata was offside – therefore the decision to rule the goal out was ultimately the correct one.
Man United have since gone 2-0 up (thanks again to Lukaku) and look on course to qualify for the last eight of the competition, meaning Mata’s disallowed effort now means far less in context.