It was inevitable from the moment FIFA announced VAR would grace the World Cup in Russia: a backlash.
And while there has been simmering discontent towards the technology – England and Serbia fans spring to mind – it has avoided major carnage… until now.
But when Sweden striker Marcus Berg hit the deck under pressure from Germany defender Jerome Boateng, the referee decided not to revisit the incident.
Here’s how it went down, in screenshot form…
1. Berg is through one-on-one; Boateng closes in…
2. Boateng catches Berg’s leg… doesn’t touch the ball
3. Berg gets a tame shot away, before crashing into Neuer
Now, VAR will have reviewed the decision behind the scenes, but WHY did they decide to not get the referee to have another look?
People were NOT happy…
Penalty for Sweden and red card for Boateng that. Pretty much as stonewall as you can get that shove in the back. What are the VAR guys doing? They have totally bottled it. If Sweden go out of the World Cup now, that is to blame #GERSWE
— Carlo Garganese (@carlogarganese) June 23, 2018
How has VAR not got involved there ? Penalty
— Robbie Savage (@RobbieSavage8) June 23, 2018
It seems that VAR is only being used for the benefit of specific teams. It’s absent in many controversial cases, that are at least as worth being reviewed as a couple of others cases where it has been used.
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStat) June 23, 2018