Mour­inho backs video of­fi­ci­at­ing with tweaks

New Straits Times - - SPORT -

4LONDON: Manch­ester United boss Jose Mour­inho backs the con­tro­ver­sial video as­sis­tant ref­eree (VAR) sys­tem be­cause it helps of­fi­cials make “fair de­ci­sions“, but says it needs ad­just­ments to pre­serve the flow of the game.

United will play in a match in which VAR is be­ing tri­alled for the first time at Hud­der­s­field in Satur­day’s FA Cup fifth-round tie.

VAR has been used in the com­pe­ti­tion al­ready this sea­son, most no­tably when West Brom won 3-2 at Liver­pool in the fourth round, as well as in the League Cup.

The sys­tem re­views key mo­ments linked to goals, penalty de­ci­sions, red-card in­ci­dents and cases of mis­taken iden­tity.

Asked for his views on VAR, Mour­inho told United’s in­house chan­nel MUTV: “When peo­ple ask us if we like it, if we don’t like it, if we agree with it or don’t agree with it, I think hon­estly it’s a ques­tion for the ref­er­ees.

“They want to per­form the best they can. They don’t like to make mis­takes. And some­times they make mis­takes be­cause it’s a hu­man mis­take and you can­not go over it un­less you have some tech­no­log­i­cal sup­port.

“So if the ref­er­ees are happy with that tech­no­log­i­cal sup­port, then, yes, let’s go for the VAR. I think, from my per­spec­tive, I like the feel­ing.”

But the United boss said tweaks were needed to en­sure the tech­nol­ogy does not in­ter­rupt the rhythm of the game.

“Of course they need ad­just­ments,” he said. “They need to make sure that they don’t change the dy­namic of the game too much, the emo­tion of the game too much – peo­ple wait­ing a cou­ple of min­utes to know if they can jump (and cel­e­brate) be­cause it was a goal.

“But from my pro­fes­sional per­spec­tive, I like the feel­ing of a right de­ci­sion is com­ing. It’s a penalty or not a penalty, it’s hand­ball or not hand­ball, it’s a red card or not a red card. I think a fair de­ci­sion is a feel­ing that I like.”

The VAR sys­tem took cen­tre stage dur­ing the Liver­pool-West Brom clash on Jan 27. It was used three times in the first half, in­clud­ing the first time in English foot­ball that a ref­eree used a pitch­side tele­vi­sion re­play.

Although it even­tu­ally led to cor­rect de­ci­sions be­ing made, ques­tions were asked about the process, par­tic­u­larly the amount of time it took.

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