Milner not a VAR fan despite being a beneficiary

2019-10-29 14:47:25

While James Milner is all for improvements to help refereeing on the pitch, he is not a fan of the VAR which has become a hot talking point in the Premier League this season.

Veteran Liverpool midfielder James Milner admits he is not a fan of the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) even though he had benefitted from such a decision in the Premier League this season.

In an interview with English daily The Guardian, the former England international emphasised he was not against technology improving decision-making in football, but felt it becomes a drag if it takes too long to make a decision, especially in critical flashpoints during the game.

“It might just be the old school part of me but I think there’s still too much debate around VAR,” he said. “Goal-line technology is incredible. Instant decision. Black and white.

“But it’s very hard to use VAR when you’ve still got opinions on the decisions and the atmosphere is being ruined. You score, there’s an explosion of noise and then it’s VAR. You wait. Is it a goal?”

Milner related that first-hand experience on being the beneficiary of such a decision after he converted an injury-time penalty winner to help Premier League leaders Liverpool defeat Leicester City 2-1 at Anfield on 5 October.

“I had the experience of a penalty the other week,” he added. “That was a new experience as they’re debating if it’s going to be a penalty.

“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 the controversy, I’d back it 100 percent. But we’re still having discussions about VAR. I don’t think many footballers feel differently.”