Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou expressed his disapproval of the video assistant referee (VAR) system, citing its tendency to complicate matters.
This sentiment comes in the wake of his team gaining an advantage due to an officiating mistake during Saturday’s match against Liverpool.
Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL), the referee group, acknowledged their error in disallowing Liverpool winger Luis Díaz’s goal during the first half of the game, which ultimately resulted in Tottenham’s 2-1 victory.
They attributed the error to human judgement.
“I think I’m on record saying that I’ve never really been a fan of it since it came in,” Postecoglou, who previously managed Celtic, said to reporters after the game.
“Not for any other reason than I think that it complicates areas of the game that I thought were pretty clear in the past, but I can see at the same time why it was inevitable that technology would come in. We have to deal with it.
“The game is littered with historical refereeing decisions that weren’t right, but we all accepted that it was part of the game because we’re dealing with human beings,” Postecoglou said.
“I think that people are under the misconception that VAR is going to be errorless. I don’t think there’s any technology because so much of our game isn’t factual. It’s down to interpretation, and they’re still human beings.
“When you put such a high bar on something, it invariably is going to fail, so if people are thinking that VAR is going to be something that at some point that is perfect, that’s never going to happen.”
Liverpool suffered a defeat as Joël Matip scored an own goal in stoppage time, with the team already down to nine players due to the red cards issued to midfielder Curtis Jones and winger Diogo Jota.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, whose team had not lost to Spurs since 2017 and had only been defeated by them once in their previous 21 league encounters, attributed the shift in momentum during the game to VAR’s decision to disallow Diaz’s goal.
Following this outcome, Tottenham climbed to the second position in the Premier League standings, trailing reigning champions Manchester City by just one point.
In contrast, Liverpool found themselves a further point behind in fourth place after seven matches.
“Who does that help now?,” Klopp said when asked about the referees’ statement. “We will not get points for it, so it doesn’t help. Nobody expects 100% right decisions on-field, but I think we all thought when VAR came in, it might make things easier…
“We score that goal. It was top, top, top, outstandingly well played. In a game where you don’t get a lot to feel better, you make that, that’s super-important information, that’s how we can hurt them, that’s how we can beat them, stuff like this.
“So, it was super-difficult, but the boys dealt extremely well with it.”