It is on very rare occasions that we get to see football managers and players jump in defense of a controversial decision made during a match or a person who makes that decision.
Pep Guardiola’s sentiments seem to have come from a different script.
The Manchester City tactician, in a post-match press conference branded himself ‘a great fan of VAR’ despite the system awarding two penalties against his side in a heated clash against Bundesliga side Schalke 04 in a Champions League round of 16 clash on Wednesday night.
The Premier League giants looked be in control of the tie after Sergio Aguero netted early in the first half but the Germans got right back into the game thanks to a penalty awarded after VAR consultation.
However, the decision was marred with controversy thanks to the pitch-side monitor of the VAR not working.
The referee took over four minutes to wait for a decision from the assistant referees in the dugout and stopped players from protesting only to point at the penalty spot after he had earlier signalling for a corner kick.
The German side were unfortunate to lose the match as late goals from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling dented their quarter final hopes.
In Spain, Atletico Madrid also fell victim to VAR indecision after Alvaro Morata’s goal, opening his account in Spain was cut short.
In the first round of matches, the Ajax players were furious for their opening goal against Real Madrid being disallowed for offside.
All these events have one thing in common, the intervention of VAR.
European football governing body UEFA brought forward the use of VAR in the round of 16 but it has raised a couple of red flags among Europe’s elite league due to its controversial nature.
The system’s flaws evident in this week’s UCL matches have invited criticism from football greats and fans around the world.
BT Sport commentator and Arsenal great Martin Keown slammed VAR on time it takes in decision making.
He said “It is the length of time this is taking; the spontaneity of football is in danger of being lost here. We want quicker decisions, please.”
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand commented on the system saying: “This is the problem with VAR. It takes so long to make a decision.”
Other football faithful around the world also had their say on the flaws of VAR. These are some of the tweets collected by Game Yetu:?