VAR is once again in the crosshairs following the controversial decision to rule out Harry Kane’s last-minute winner in the Champions League on Wednesday, with some players and pundits saying the system is killing the excitement of the game.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Kane fired home from close range in the fifth minute of stoppage time against Sporting but the wild celebrations in the stadium were silenced after a VAR check lasting several minutes disallowed the goal.
Spurs great Glenn Hoddle told BT Sport that players could stop celebrating goals because of the uncertainty.
“I don’t want to see that coming into the game. People will stop coming to the stadium, they’ll watch it more on television,” he added.
“We don’t want that because you want atmosphere. People in the stadium are all celebrating, but we’re waiting for this one fraction, for how long, four minutes?
“It’s exhausting the game, taking away the exhilaration of seeing your team score a goal.”
Former referee Peter Walton agreed VAR was dampening the excitement at times but said that at the end of the day the decision was a correct one.
“VAR probably wasn’t dreamt up for these types of decisions, because it takes that bit of feeling out the game, but factually you can’t argue with the outcome,” he wrote in The Times.
Speaking to the BBC, Everton winger Andros Townsend, who started his career at Spurs, said VAR is “killing the raw emotion of the game.”
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte was sent off for his reaction to the decision and said he hoped the club understands why he was so angry.
“Sometimes you can accept this situation and sometimes I think it is not good because I don’t see honesty in this type of situation and when I see this I become really, really upset …,” he told reporters.
“I hope the club understands this and then in the right situation they also speak with the people they have to speak because otherwise, it is only the manager to speak.”