Charlie Austin demands VAR in explosive rant at referees following Southampton's draw with Watford

Austin was furious with the officials after his late effort was disallowed

Jack Watson
Saturday 10 November 2018 18:37
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Southampton 2018/19 Premier League profile

Charlie Austin has demanded that the Premier League swiftly introduce Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in an explosive rant following a “joke” decision that cost Southampton against Watford in their 1-1 draw.

With the score 1-1, following Manolo Gabbiadini’s first-half goal, Austin thought he doubled the home sides lead, but his strike was disallowed after Simon Hooper, who was refereeing his second Premier League match of the season, deemed Maya Yoshida to have interfered with the ball from an offside position.

Watford equalised through Jose Holebas and then had their turn to feel aggrieved by the referee when appeals for a penalty were waved away following Ryan Bertrand’s clumsy tackled on Nathaniel Chalobah in the box.

“It’s ridiculous, they shouldn’t be in the game,” a furious Austin told television reporters. “We scored a perfectly good goal that was ruled out for offside. The officials cost us two points. They said it was offside, that is a joke.

"People go on about VAR, they clearly need help. If this is the best, most-watched league in the world then give them all the help they need. It is a joke.

"Sure there are many positives, we worked hard, we deserved three points and we would have got that had we not been let down by the official.

"We feel like we have been let down. I started well, worked hard to be up 1-0 at half-time and we stuck to the plan.

"We didn’t get beat but we should have gotten away with three points going into the international break.

"The performance was there, we can take that away and we should manage the game. I’m angry is what it is, we should have won 2-0.”

Mark Hughes, who is under increasing pressure at Southampton following a board restructure during the week, supports Austin’s criticism and says referee Hooper was not ‘up to the required standard.’

“The referee gave the decision that Maya touched the ball on the way in which is ridiculous really,” said Hughes. “It’s a game-changing decision and that’s all we ask for as managers and players, the key moments in games where the result is at risk, they’ve got to make the correct decision.

“We’ve had an inexperienced referee today who’s managed 4 games? This game is as important as the Manchester derby. The referee on the day wasn’t up to the required standard.”

Charlie Austin was critical of the referee's performance

On VAR the Southampton boss added that he is surprised that the technology still is not being used in the Premier League. “I was surprised they didn’t introduce it at the beginning of this year. The Premier League is still in the darker ages.”

It is reported that Hooper has admitted that he made an error by deeming Yoshida to be interfering with play, but that will not change the result for Southampton. “I haven’t been able to speak to them [officials] yet,” added Hughes, “but that could be the one redeeming feature of the day.”

Watford manager Javi Gracia was also left bemused by the referee’s decision not to award his side a penalty. “Chalobah told me it was a clear penalty but I have to respect the referee’s decision,” he said.

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