Last updated 8 months ago | By Mirror
It is the top-level backing on the issue that fans against VAR will appreciate.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, coming down on the side of the football fans, players and pundits against Video Assistant Referees.
As the controversies continue to pile up the animosity building towards the system is continuing to build.
Ceferin summed up the frustrations of supporters who would rather see the back of it.
“If you have a long nose, you are in an offside position these days,” he said. “Also the lines are drawn by the VARS. So it’s a bit subjective drawing of objective criteria.
“So our proposal will be - we will discuss this with our referees division - that it is a tolerance of 10-20 centimetres.
“Second thing, we had at UEFA the top coaches two weeks ago, in Nyon. There was Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Max Allegri, Carlo Ancelotti, Zinedine Zidane.
“All the top coaches of European teams, and our referee officer, Roberto Rossetti shows a handball. He says: ‘Handball or not?’
“Half the room said yes. Half said no. So tell me how clear the rule is. We don’t know anything!
“For example, let me think about the Liverpool game against Manchester City. Was that handball or not?”
Referee Michael Oliver controversially denied Manchester City a penalty in their title clash against Liverpool last month when Bernardo Silva’s cross struck Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Jurgen Klopp’s side benefited and went on to win.
“Some referees in England, they don’t even check,” said Ceferin, “In Italy they check for half an hour. You know, it’s a mess.
“I was never a big fan of this. Now these days you see that linesmen don’t even bother to lift the flag anymore. They wait, wait, wait.
“The players? They don’t celebrate. Now they wait first for the VAR. And as I said, handball - no one can explain what is handball and what is not.
“What is intentional? The referee is not a psychiatrist to know if you did it on purpose or not!”
Leicester benefited last Sunday after VAR overruled a linesman’s flag and allowed Kelechi Iheanacho’s winner to stand against Everton, piling the pressure on boss David Moyes.
Ceferin went on: “Referees make mistakes. I’ve followed football since I was a kid. The first game I remember is 1978 when I watched the World Cup in Argentina. Kempes - 3-1 in the final against Holland.
“Referees mistakes are like players’ mistakes. We were discussing about referees mistakes for a week. It was interesting. Round tables this, that. Now it’s some kind of technology. Nobody knows who is deciding.
“It’s okay if you don’t rule someone offside if it’s one centimetre. Because the meaning of offside is that I have to have some kind of advantage.
“I’m not a big fan, but unfortunately, if we say we don’t use it anymore, we are killed.”
While VAR will be used at next summer’s European Championship it was not in operation during the qualifiers as Ceferin’s home nation, Slovenia, had their hopes ended by Poland.
“Look, we simply have to [have it at the Euros] because the teams will all complain when there’s a mistake against them.
“They will say: ‘We want VAR.’ For example, my national team Slovenia was put out. There’s a clear handball and I was at the stadium.”
“I was so mad! It was a clear handball! I was so mad!! But the referee didn’t see it. We would have qualified for the Euros.”
Ceferin joked: “People were looking at me like: ‘Who the hell are you if you don’t have any influence?’ Somebody started to shout: ‘Shame on UEFA!’
“It’s okay. I’m used to that. But it’s not so simple.
“At the end of the day, I said, every bad thing has something good - and the good thing is that now everybody knows I don’t interfere.”