By Walter Broeckx
I have been calling for VAR for a long time. And I still want VAR in football. Even after recent events. Why? Because I know that refs make mistakes and I want to make sure that referees make as few mistakes as possible. And I want errors to be corrected.
And I also know that VAR can work for I see it working in various countries. Will we get rid of 100% of the wrong decisions. No. We will not. Never. But we can reduce the errors as much as possible.
As I have always said in order to achieve that goal you must first of all believe in the system and learn from the mistakes. And most of all you have to be transparent about the decisions VAR and the referee have made.
And once again I have to refer to Holland as an excellent example. Each week they show and explain a certain decision on how they came to the conclusion they did. Completely transparent.
But PGMO and transparency… well these words have never matched. I have been calling for the head of Mike – ref 50 – Riley for many years. For not having enough referees in the PL, for his bias against Arsenal, for allowing his refs without punishment to openly show their bias against Arsenal.
But now things are getting completely out of hand. By the time we played our 10th match this season we had had four of these matches refereed by the same ref: Martin Atkinson. That is 40% of the matches by the same ref. That is a possible 12 points that he alone has been able to allow you to have…or not have. With Atkinson’s track record we know that he will do anything to not get us 3 points in any match.
Atkinson is like his namesake Rowan Atkinson, a clown. Mind you I can laugh a lot with Rowan – Mr. Bean – Atkinson but the track record of Martin Atkinson is not something that I find funny. I have written more than enough referee reports in the past where I showed his bias against Arsenal in the past to know what I need to know. Martin Atkinson is a loyal servant of Mike Riley.
Doing some digging I found that a certain Jarred Gillet was our recent VAR referee. He is an Australian referee who is doing some studying in Liverpool. Riley was happy to have him on board and I think Gillet knows who is the boss and who he has to make happy.
When you look for the PGMO you can find that they actually don’t seem to exist in fact. They have no website. Just an article in Wikipedia. And they are mentioned on the website of the PL. But they have no website of their own. And that for an organisation that as one of their tasks has to “inform the public about refereeing issues” as it noted when it was formed. Having a website would be a good start to inform the public these days I would think.
If we check the website of the premier league they say : “VAR will be used only for “clear and obvious errors” or “serious missed incidents” in four match-changing situations: goals; penalty decisions; direct red-card incidents; and mistaken identity.”
Cancelling the late winner against Crystal Palace was criminal. The Australian VAR ref mister Jarred Gillet is maybe looking at things upside down but he certainly doesn’t understand the words “clear and obvious error.”
In fact when you look at the images in the Gillet run Crystal Palace match you can clearly see that the first foul that was made was a clear push on Chambers. That was the only clear and obvious error that I have seen in the images so far. A Crystal Palace player pushed Chambers with both hands. A clear push that was missed by the ref on the field. So you could argue that the VAR would intervene and tell ref Atkinson to give a penalty to Arsenal.
After the not given push against Chambers a bit of a tussle happened between Chambers and Cahill (I think) both tried to play the ball and it still isn’t clear for me who actually played the ball further in the direction of Lacazette. Was it Cahill? Was it Chambers? It was NOT CLEAR! It could have been that it was the toe of Chambers who pushed the ball further, it might have been the defender. But it wasn’t and still isn’t clear up to now.
And then we have to look at the rules on how to use VAR and they state clearly: “VAR will be used only for “clear and obvious errors”
Now Mr. Gillet could you explain us what was clear and obvious in the tussle for the ball between Chambers and the Palace defender??? Like I said the only clear and obvious error was the missed push on Chambers.
In the many articles I wrote previously about VAR and how I wanted it to happen I always expressed my concern that if you put VAR in the hands of the PGMO you might expect disaster. Disaster like in sending the same ref four times in 10 matches to the same team. Disaster like in keeping up the secrecy on why they come to VAR decisions.
I see two possible things here: Mike Riley and the PGMO don’t want VAR to succeed and do all they can to sabotage a good VAR system. They can do this by making a mess of it. Not using the screens on the side of the field indicate in that direction. I think even Atkinson would not have disallowed the winning goal if he had gone to the sideline to watch the incident. Because he couldn’t come back to it because it wasn’t a clear and obvious error.
Or Mike Riley and the PGMO being happy to use the VAR in order to be able to help the higher goal, whatever that higher goal maybe. But one can be sure that manipulating the PL is a way of describing it.
In other countries refs on the field go over to the TV screen to see themselves if their decisions are correct. In the PL they refuse to do so. Maybe because somebody is whispering somewhere things in the ears of some people. Do I have any evidence for this? No of course. But can the PGMO prove that this isn’t the case? No, because they decide to keep up the total secrecy they have used to hide behind from the start.
I challenge the PL, FA and the PGMO to do as they do in Holland. In Holland the VAR-sponsor (yes they do have a company who sponsors the whole thing) puts up a video clip where they show how VAR came to a conclusion. This has all the images AND MORE IMPORTANTLY ALL THE TALK BETWEEN the refs on the field and in the VAR studio. It is there completely in the open. So PL, FA and PGMO what are you waiting for to do the same? Or are there things we are not allowed to see or hear?
VAR is not the problem, the PGMO and Mike Riley is the problem. As long as we have a person like Mike – ref 50 – Riley as head of the referees you can never expect the PGMO to be independent.
And here is a thought. The video of VAR disallowing the Sokratis goal for the Chambers foul, was available, but has now been withdrawn from circulation. If you find it popping up anywhere do let us have the link.
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