In the Premier League, one of the big talking points is the use of VAR and the fact that it seems to be a go-to for any decision shading into grey on the black/white dichotomy. It has been an unfortunate bete noir of top-tier technology.
Armpit offsides and other hair-thin decisions have seen goals wiped off and, eventually, teams lose both games and points. A necessary evil, that’s what it has become has VAR. It will, invariably, cause more contention than it will solve. It would have solved contention in today’s QPR versus Leeds United game.
As the above video shows, not only did the ball strike Nakhi Wells’ left arm as it was driven in from the edge-of-the-box Eberechi Eze free-kick, it also hit his right arm before he stabbed it home to give the Loftus Road outfit a controversial 20th-minute lead and, eventual, three points.
Let’s have a look at Law 12 in the FA rule book, it’s a pretty clear regulation. A player is considered to have contravened it if he:
- gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then:
- scores in the opponents’ goal
It is also “usually an offence” if a player:
- touches the ball with their arm/hand when:
- the hand/arm has mad their body unnaturally bigger.
Leeds United fans can take their pick of any of those situations; whatever choice they make it is an offence and no goal. The referee was able to see this infraction, his assistant equally clear-sighted. Such was the clarity of the infringement, Leeds United fans have every right to question the decision to let the goal stand…especially so after Wells admitted the offence in the after-match interview.
Still, the London hoodoo continues.