Why VAR decision in Schalke vs Man City may be ILLEGAL - according to UEFA's own rules

By Mirror: Thursday, February 21st 2019 at 09:03 GMT +3 | Football
The crowd were told a review was happening - but the match official couldn't be involved [Courtesy]

VAR was at the centre of controversy during Manchester City vs Schalke in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

And there is no doubt that Pep Guardiola and his City staff will be feeling aggrieved, if not downright angry.

The German side were awarded two first-half penalties, both converted by Nabil Bentaleb, to hand them a half-time lead in Gelsenkirchen - after Sergio Aguero had initially opened the scoring.

Both times the match official, Spaniard Carlos del Cerro, was helped in his decision-making by the system.

On the second occasion, it backed up his assertion that Fernandinho had fouled Salif Sane.

But on the first, after a two and a half minute wait, Del Cerro changed his mind, to give handball against Nicolas Otamendi.

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Del Cerro booked Otamendi after his protests too [Courtesy]

Del Cerro had initially pointed for a corner kick, after seeing a vicious strike hit Otamendi and veer wide.

But the official was unable to check replays of the incident on the pitchside monitors himself.

That was because, in what is a major embarrassment for UEFA, the screens were not working - despite VAR having been in play in the Bundesliga for the past two seasons.

Instead, the official was left to take not just advice, but to have the decision made for him by the official watching on the monitors in a control centre inside the stadium.

That's despite UEFA's own leaflets announcing that such subjective decisions must be made via an on-field review.

However, that is something the Spanish official was unable to do due to the faulty technology.

In the end it all hardly mattered for Guardiola, as City fought from behind - with 10 men after Otamendi's red card - to claim a 3-2 success and put one foot in the quarter-finals.

But for UEFA, it is a situation which is embarrassing, with European football's governing body putting so much stock into VAR at present.

UEFA stated that they will be releasing a statement on the issue post-game, but Pep Guardiola surprisingly said: “It was a penalty and I am a big fan of VAR and the second one was penalty as well.

"And the red card is a red card."

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