Ex-Premier League referee claims VAR got Schalke v City decision wrong

Is the technology really ready for the UCL?

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has claimed the Video Assistant Referee got it wrong during Schalke vs Manchester City.

There was much drama during the clash in Germany when Schalke were awarded a penalty.

Nicolás Otamendi was adjudged to have handballed in the area, with VAR agreeing with the referee’s on-field decision after nearly three minutes of deliberation.

Though, many suggested that it wasn’t even a penalty, not to mention the fact the referee should have used one of the pitchside screens to review the decision.

UEFA later revealed that the screens were not working, which was why the referee asked VAR for their decision.

Now, former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has criticised both the Video Assistant referee and UEFA.

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 20: Fernandinho #25 of Manchester City discus with referee Carlos del Cerro Grande during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between FC Schalke 04 and Manchester City at Veltins-Arena on February 20, 2019 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

“In my opinion, the handball shouldn’t have been given”

Halsey, speaking to TalkSPORT, claimed that in his opinion the decision shouldn’t have been given.

Not only that, he claimed if there were issues with the screens at the stadium, VAR should not have been used at all.

“It has to be a deliberate movement,” Halsey explained.

“Lots of players use their arms for balance and you can’t make a tackle sometimes without using your arms for balance. The question is was there a deliberate movement of the arm towards the ball?

“In my opinion, the handball shouldn’t have been given. They should have just given a corner and got on with it.


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“If video referees are taking in excess of three minutes to come to that decision, was it clear and obvious? You’d have to say no!

“UEFA had a meeting in London where they emphasised that the on-field referee must make the final decision and it’s appropriate he visits the screen.

“If that screen is not working, and surely it was tested before the game started, then VAR should not be used on the night. They should forget about VAR and go with the on-field referee for the rest of the game.”


See also: VAR controversy: Schalke vs Man City drama as UEFA release statement

Man City blow: Fernandinho & Otamendi to miss Schalke second-leg

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