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‘What’s point in VAR?’ – Rio Ferdinand fumes after Middlesbrough get away with handball at Man Utd… but here’s why


RIO FERDINAND was left raging after Middlesbrough’s equaliser against Manchester United was allowed to stand.

In the 64th minute of the game, Duncan Watmore appeared to control the ball with his arm as he took it down before squaring for Matt Crooks to cancel out Jadon Sancho’s opener.

The ball struck Watmore's arm in the lead-up to the goal but it was allowed to stand

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The ball struck Watmore’s arm in the lead-up to the goal but it was allowed to standCredit: Getty
Ferdinand was baffled by the decision to allow the goal

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Ferdinand was baffled by the decision to allow the goalCredit: PA
The Man Utd legend tweeted his frustration on social media

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The Man Utd legend tweeted his frustration on social media

The expectation at the time was that the goal was going to be ruled out after a VAR review.

And, when it wasn’t, ex-Man Utd star Ferdinand took to Twitter to voice his anger.

He said: “What’s the point of VAR….”

However, as reported by The Mail, the laws of the game mean the goal was correctly allowed to stand.

This is because a goal should only be disallowed if the scorer handles the ball.

This rule does not extend to any player in possession of the ball prior to the goal being scored.

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So, the fact that Crooks finished off the move and not Watmore meant it was allowed to stand.

The only other way it could have been disallowed was if referee Anthony Taylor had deemed Watmore to have deliberately handled the ball.

He did not, so the goal was given.

Boro went on to win the match 8-7 on penalties after holding Man Utd to a 1-1 draw after extra-time.

After several baffled tweets, Ferdinand later congratulated second tier Boro on their victory.

He said: “Going to be a long weekend. Congrats to @Boro… You’ve got a good manager there! Chris Wilder.”

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Meanwhile, Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick was left aggrieved by Boro’s controversial equaliser.

He said: “In the end, the goal should never have been given. It’s incredible that it stood. It was a clear handball.

“I would not have needed VAR, it should have been seen by the referee himself but the VAR should not have given the goal.

“As far as I know, the referee and the VAR decided that it was not intentional, it was coincidental.

“How can it be coincidental if the hand is up there and the ball is touching his hand and he controlled the ball with his hand? I don’t see how this can be coincidental.”

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