Mon, Jan 01, 2018 - Page 10 News List

SS Lazio coach Inzaghi says VAR is taking the excitement out of the game

Reuters, MILAN, Italy

Referee Gianluca Rocchi checks the video replay system on Saturday to review a play during a game between SS Lazio and Inter Milan in Milan, Italy.

Photo: Reuters

SS Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said that the video replay system (VAR) being trialed in Serie A is taking the excitement out of soccer after his side on Saturday had a penalty revoked.

VAR decisions have cost his side seven points so far this season after their goalless draw at Inter Milan, Inzaghi said, but added that he was more worried about the effects it was having on players, coaches and fans.

“My verdict is absolutely negative, because it takes the excitement out of football; players don’t hug each other after scoring a goal anymore, instead they look straight toward the referee,” he said.

“It takes the excitement away from us and the fans. For me, it’s removing the adrenaline and my enjoyment of football,” he added.

Lazio are also involved in the Europa League this season and Inzaghi said he preferred that competition to Serie A thanks to the absence of the VAR.

Lazio were awarded a penalty on the hour after Ciro Immobile’s cross hit Inter defender Milan Skriniar on the leg and then arm.

However, the referee changed his mind after consulting the VAR, ruling that it was accidental handball.

Serie A is among several competitions where VAR technology is being trialed before the International Football Association Board (IFAB) decides whether to approve its use on a permanent basis.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has already said he wants to use it at the Russia World Cup this year and IFAB is expected to make a decision in March.

There have been several cases in Serie A this season in which players have scored goals and celebrated, only to turn around and find the referee consulting the VAR.

Stadium announcers have also been left red-faced after going through ear-splitting celebratory routines only to see the goal disallowed.

Inzaghi said VAR had also cost his side two points in their 1-1 draw against AFC Fiorentina, and three in their 3-1 defeat by Torino.

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