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"I couldn't catch my breath" | Gary Breen on VAR mistakes

Gary Breen believes that the weekend's latest VAR controversy should prompt a rethinking of how t...

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

22:11 24 Feb 2020



Soccer

"I couldn't catch my breath" | Gary Breen on VAR mistakes

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

22:11 24 Feb 2020

Gary Breen believes that the weekend's latest VAR controversy should prompt a rethinking of how the system is used.

Two incidents on Saturday were missed by the VAR official in Stockley Park - a stamp by Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso and a handball by Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne.

Breen said that such incidents would have been spotted by the referees on the pitch, were they instructed to view pitchside monitors themselves.

"I just felt that once that stamping tackle by [Giovani] Lo Celso happened: 'this is just what VAR is for.'

"It is to get rid of those types of challenges, to get rid of the Thierry Henry handball that cost us all those years ago - those specific things.

"To get that one wrong, I just couldn't catch my breath.

"I keep saying this, because this is the frustration that I have: I don't want two referees. I want the referee who is in charge of the game there and then to be empowered to make that decision.

"Just say to Michael Oliver - who has already done this at Crystal Palace this season - to go and look at the monitor.

"Let him decide. As soon as he sees it, it wouldn't even take him five seconds to say 'that's a straight red - let's get it done.'"

The situation was compounded by the same VAR official being responsible for the day's late kick-off, in which another high-profile mistake was made.

"How that chap at Stockley Park, this mythical land just outside of Heathrow, does not get that right is beyond me.

"The same guy then makes a mistake on the free kick in the Leicester - Manchester City game where Kevin De Bruyne puts his hands up to block in a defensive wall.

"It leaves you thinking that these were stonewall penalties.

"You would expect to stand him down after such a controversial mistake; like any footballer or referee - you are benched.

"They gave him another high-profile game just hours later!"

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