Mauricio Pochettino is glad VAR has not yet been introduced to the Premier League and is concerned the system could “annoy” fans in England’s top flight.
The video assistant referee has been used in the FA Cup and EFL Cup and is due to be implemented in the Premier League next season, having been introduced in the top leagues in Italy and Germany and at last year’s World Cup.
Spurs benefited from the technology in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final with Chelsea, with Harry Kane scoring a penalty to secure a 1-0 win after a VAR review deemed him onside in the build-up.
Pochettino, though, thinks the system is not slick enough to satisfy the demands of Premier League supporters.
“It is a good idea to delay [VAR’s introduction to the Premier League] because if we don’t have all the information or don’t know how it will work or how we can better develop the system, it is better to stop for one year or more.
“Nobody in Europe is happy with VAR and what worries me is that there is going to be a situation where football starts to annoy the fans. If you stop for five minutes for a decision, I don’t know how they are going to behave.
“Goal-line technology is the best but, after that, it is about how the referee perceives things. The emotion is not going to be there, the feelings and the tension. Maybe, technically, it is a handball, but we know very well when it is intentional and only the referee and the players around can decide that. On the video, you cannot perceive that.”
Pochettino says the game in England is “more dynamic”, adding: “If you compare to Spain or Italy, the ball is in play more in England. Fans in this country are used to play, transition, corner, goal, boom. It is more instant.
“In the Rochdale replay [in the FA Cup] there was an incident in the first half that took forever to decide. There were 10,000 less fans after half-time. That situation was difficult to accept and I’m not sure if you get a benefit. Those who are pro‑VAR say the technology will help but football is also about mistakes – players, managers and referees.
“I am telling the people responsible that we need information [on why and when VAR should be used] because if we don’t know, it is going to be a big problem.”
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