Use VAR but use common sense too: Coady

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves protesting referee Andre Marriner's decision to rule out a goal following a VAR review. PHOTO: REUTERS
Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves protesting referee Andre Marriner's decision to rule out a goal following a VAR review. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Captain Conor Coady has blasted the video assistant referee (VAR) and match officials, led by Andre Marriner, after Wolves had a goal disallowed for handball in their goal-less Premier League draw at Leicester on Sunday.

Belgium midfielder Leander Dendoncker stabbed home in the 53rd minute, but it was ruled out after a review because his header hit teammate Willy Boly's arm before he turned in the rebound.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola raised concerns following a host of VAR reviews during the English champions' 5-0 win at West Ham on Saturday. Last season, Boly scored a goal that hit his head and then his hand in a 1-1 draw with City, sparking calls for the technology.

From this season, under guidance introduced by the league, even if the handball is accidental, any goal scored or created with the hand or arm will be disallowed. Coady said this meant "we are going to have to play with our hands chopped off".

The International Football Association Board, the game's rule-making body, said in March that handballs from attackers in scoring situations would no longer have to be deliberate, removing ambiguity from the old rule.

Coady suggested that officials, and the VAR, needed to show more "common sense".

The defender said: "Boly is not looking at the ball and (did) not put his hand in the way to knock it down for himself and then shoot. He can't do anything about it.

"They have brought VAR in to rectify all those problems but it has gone too far the other way now.

"We had a meeting with the referees at the start of the season and they said common sense would prevail in that situation."

His manager Nuno Espirito Santo took issue with the time taken to reach a decision, which came 98 seconds later in this instance.

He said: "We celebrate and then we don't celebrate and then the Leicester fans celebrate a non-goal. It's too much time. But I think they are in the right way they want to keep the game flowing."

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said: "The rule is pretty clear. It was unfortunate for them and it benefited us, but my feeling is VAR is going to work for you some weeks and go against you in others.

"It's a part of the game now that everyone will have to make an adjustment and adapt to."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2019, with the headline 'Use VAR but use common sense too: Coady'. Print Edition | Subscribe