Liverpool: VAR is ‘ruining football atmosphere’, says midfielder James Milner

Milner thinks few footballers actually support the use of technology

Harry Latham-Coyle
Tuesday 29 October 2019 11:48
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Jurgen Klopp: VAR still has it's problems

James Milner has claimed that VAR is ruining the atmosphere at football matches.

The Liverpool midfielder also suggested that many footballers do not favour the use of technology to aid referees.

Milner did, however, praise goal-line technology, but said there is too much debate around VAR.

“Goal-line technology is incredible. Instant decision. Black and white,” Milner told The Guardian.

“But it’s very hard to use VAR when you’ve still got opinions on the decisions and the atmosphere is being ruined.

“It might just be the old-school part of me but I think there’s still too much debate around VAR. You score, there’s an explosion of noise and then it’s VAR. You wait. Is it a goal?”

VAR was introduced to the Premier League this season but has been widely criticised, with many feeling it has not been effectively implemented or utilised so far.

Referees have not used the screens at the side of pitches, and the threshhold for overturning “clear and obvious” errors has seemed incredibly high.

Milner scored the winning penalty in the 95th minute as Liverpool beat Leicester 2-1 earlier this month, but had his spot-kick delayed as the video assistant referee checked the penalty incident.

“That was a new experience as they’re debating if it’s going to be a penalty,” Milner explained.

“I think there’s use for it – if we can improve it. But football is a game of human error on the field and in officiating as well. They have a very tough job and I’m all for making their lives easier – but not at the expense of the flow of the game.

“If the VAR took away controversy I’d back it 100 per cent. But we’re still having discussions about VAR. I don’t think many footballers feel differently.”

26 decisions have been overturned in the first ten weeks of the Premier League season.

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