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Football Reporting


Harry Maguire’s “headlock” on Cesar Azpilicueta being used to show where VAR has gone wrong

Premier League chiefs will meet on Thursday at their latest meeting, with VAR high on the agenda.

The Premier League wrote to clubs requesting feedback from managers, directors of football and players on the system and its use this season.

As first revealed by the Daily Mail, they were asked to look at offside and penalty decisions, as well as handballs and red cards as they look to improve VAR ahead of next term.

A number of clips were sent for evaluation, the most prominent of which was Harry Maguire’s controversial ‘non-foul’ on Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta last October.

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The Manchester United skipper escaped punishment for the incident during the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.

Despite having his arms around the Spanish defender’s neck inside the penalty area, neither referee Martin Atkinson nor the Video Assistant Referee, Stuart Attwell, saw fit to award a spot-kick.

No penalty was awarded for Maguire’s challenge

Then-Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was furious that Maguire’s “headlock” went unpunished.

“I think it was a clear penalty,” he blasted. “I didn’t see it at the time from where I was stood.

“It was a hard call for the referee. But why didn’t the VAR bring it to his attention?

“VAR was much too quick to move on. If the referee sees it then he gives a penalty.

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“The frustrating thing is that referees had been using the monitors this season.

VAR has been the heart of controversy again this term
VAR has been the heart of controversy again this term

“That’s how it should be because it is up to the person on the pitch to take responsibility.

“For some reason they have stopped doing it and I can’t understand why.

“I don’t think the referee could see the headlock. So he should have been given the chance to review it. If he sees it on the monitor then he gives a penalty.”

Clubs have now been asked to effectively re-referee that and other decisions before being presented with yes/no questions and asked whether the right decision was reached.

They were given the opportunity to say how they thought the system could be made better with the Premier League to canvass opinion – despite the power to change laws belonging to IFAB.

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Responses have been returned to the Premier League and are set to be discussed this week.

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