VAR? No, it should be VR, fumes Mourinho

Tottenham striker Harry Kane scoring a goal against Southampton that was later disallowed for offside. Immediately afterwards, he pulled up and asked to be substituted with a suspected hamstring injury. The Saints held on for a 1-0 Premier League vic
Tottenham striker Harry Kane scoring a goal against Southampton that was later disallowed for offside. Immediately afterwards, he pulled up and asked to be substituted with a suspected hamstring injury. The Saints held on for a 1-0 Premier League victory at St Mary's. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Jose Mourinho called one of Southampton's backroom staff an idiot, accused the St Mary's ballboys of being coached to waste time, and said that the VAR (video assistant referee) should be rebranded, as his Tottenham side lost Harry Kane to a hamstring injury in a dispiriting 1-0 defeat.

The Spurs manager admitted he was booked for being rude to goalkeeping coach, Andrew Sparkes, after venturing into the home dugout to air his frustration at what he felt were time-wasting tactics.

"I think the yellow card is fair because I was rude, but I was rude to an idiot," he said following the Premier League match on Wednesday.

"For some reason I was rude. I was, and because I was rude, I deserve the yellow card.

"Basically, I had bad words with the guy."

Spurs lost to a spectacular Danny Ings goal but Mourinho was fuming over a potential foul on midfielder Dele Alli inside the box in the first half that was not assessed by the VAR.

He said: "The VAR should change their name because 'video assistant referee', that's not true. It should be VR, video referees, because they are the referees.

"It is strange because you see the referees on the pitch and they are not the referees, they are the assistant referees. The other guys (in VAR), they are the ones that make the big decisions in the game."

The 56-year-old also turned his ire on the Saints' ballboys.

"The second half was not easy," he said. "They were winning, they were defending basically with 10 players, fighting hard and being aggressive, a good aggressive, with lots of fouls.

"Lots of (times), the match stopped and the ballboys were well coached in the delaying of the game and there was not much play."

While the extent of Kane's late hamstring problem is unknown, Mourinho bemoaned another injury suffered by £55 million (S$98 million) summer signing Tanguy Ndombele, who was forced off after 25 minutes.

"He's always injured," the Spurs boss said of the Frenchman. "He plays one match, next week he is injured.

"He plays very well against Norwich, you are full of hope that he is ready for it, but he is not. It is a situation that we have had since the beginning of the season."

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2020, with the headline 'VAR? No, it should be VR, fumes Mourinho'. Print Edition | Subscribe