Tottenham and Aston Villa saw some VAR issues occur in the opening moments of their Premier League clash on Sunday. As revealed by a number of broadcasters, there were some problems occurring with VAR and although those issues were quickly resolved, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has provided some clarity on what happened at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“The VAR was working. The feed was going into Stockley Park, they could see everything the problem was it wasn’t relaying to the monitor in the ground,” he stated on Sky Sports News’ Ref Watch. “So if there was an incident that VAR checked the VAR would have had to relay back to the referee what he had seen. The referee couldn’t go to the monitor.”
On the game still starting despite the problems, he added: “The referee is there to referee the game. The VAR is there as a back up. It only lasted 10 minutes until it was corrected but in that 10 minutes they were at the mercy of the VAR. Everybody knew in the ground [it wasn’t working]. It was relayed to all the broadcasters and I could hear the VAR saying to the referee, ‘this has been cleared’. So they were checking everything as it went on.”
While it was only out of action for a small amount of time, it was a chaotic opening to the game with numerous Spurs fans disgruntled about some decisions not going their way. The first arrived following Dejan Kulusevski’s shot which struck the post with Brennan Johnson firing an effort back into the danger area that was not dealt with by Emiliano Martinez.
As a result, Ezri Konsa appeared to handle the ball with Diego Carlos then fortunate to escape giving away a penalty and being sent off just seconds later.
On Sky Sports, he said: “Silly boy. He must look and think that he’s obviously got no chance of getting the ball, but once you raise your elbow – a sort of swinging elbow – he’s very, very lucky.” Despite the VAR issues, there was no prolonged review of either incident involving Konsa or Carlos which certainly suggests it was not deemed a serious incident by the team at Stockley Park.