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VAR DEBATE John Aldridge: VAR is turning football into a farce and I have a solution to end the madness




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Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge fears VAR technology is in danger of ruining the game and has called for experienced retired referees to bring order back to the game.

Some of the biggest talking points of the new Premier League season have evolved around contentious VAR decisions, with Sunday World columnist Aldridge suggesting those in charge of the technology have made their decisions look like 'guesswork' at times.

Liverpool have been involved in some of the more contentious refereeing decisions, with defender Virgil van Dijk ruled out for the season after a tackle from Jordan Pickford that many observers believe should have resulted in a red card for the Everton keeper.

Sadio Mane's late goal in the same game was ruled out by a contentious VAR decision, with Aldridge suggesting the system needs to be refined sooner rather than later

"We have all been moaning about the VAR system for too long now and too many matches this season have highlighted flaws that can no longer be ignored," Aldridge told us.

"Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would have every right to believe there is a conspiracy against his team with the VAR decisions this season, as everything has gone against them.

"It looks like guesswork when they are drawing lines on players shirts and elbows and that's not what football should be about.

"These red and blue lines that appear on the TV after so many goals are not football as we know it and it has been clear that there have been blatant errors even after the officials have used the VAR technology.

"David Coote was VAR for the Merseyside derby earlier this month and he failed to send off Pickford after he put Virgil van Dijk out of the game for months with a wild challenge.

"Everyone knows it should have been a red card, but he didn't see it for some inexplicable reason. Then he found a way to rule out Liverpool's last-minute winner by declaring it was off-side and in my opinion, he was not qualified to come up with those decisions.

"He has only overseen just 30 Premier League games in his entire career as a referee and that is not enough to reverse big decisions that have been made by more experienced officials on the field.

Aldridge went on to suggest that perhaps the VAR system would be better suited to the officials who have more experience under their belts and may be better equipped to make decisions in the big games.

"I'm sure an experienced official like Mark Halsey would relish the chance to oversee the VAR decisions," he added. "Guys like that have hundreds of games under his belt in England and around the world would have a better chance of getting it right than a graduate.

"VAR was meant to help referees, but the people operating the system have ended up making the officials on the field look stupid by failing to help them when they need some assistance.

"I believe VAR can be a great addition to our sport if we use it right, so let's put it right by getting the right men making the calls on VAR and maybe then some sanity can be restored to the game.

Read John Aldridge's exclusive preview of Manchester City v Liverpool in the Sunday World this weekend.

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