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MARK CLATTENBURG: It was a bad time for VAR with referees showing fatigue

MARK CLATTENBURG: It was a bad time for VAR with referees showing fatigue on the field and in Stockley Park … and driving through the country without any rest doesn’t help!

  • It has been a bad time for VAR and we are starting to see fatigue play a role
  • Both referees on the field and in Stockley Park make mistakes in a hectic schedule
  • Civil servants must drive themselves through the country without time for rest

It has been a bad time for VAR and we are starting to see fatigue play a part in errors, both from referees and Stockley Park.

There have been so many referee errors since the restart. That has been compounded by the VAR process.

I can’t believe Mamadou Sakho’s goal for Palace against Villa was not allowed for handball by VAR official Jon Moss. It was never handball, it hit his shoulder. Under any law, new or old, the shoulder is not a handball.

Mamadou Sakho's goal for Palace against Villa was not allowed for handball, but was legitimate

Mamadou Sakho’s goal for Palace against Villa was not allowed for handball, but was legitimate

It was never handball, it hit his shoulder. Under any law, new or old, the shoulder is not a handball

It was never handball, it hit his shoulder. Under any law, new or old, the shoulder is not a handball

It was never handball, it hit his shoulder. Under any law, new or old, the shoulder is not a handball

I am shocked that VAR has this as a clear and obvious mistake and has destroyed the target. How can that be? All of these mistakes have a sense of what we see at Christmas: too many games, too much travel, and bad decisions.

Because of Covid-19, officials are no longer picked up at home and driven to a hotel. They drive themselves, meet the rest of the team at a gas station, take a sandwich and then follow each other to the ground.

Most drive home afterwards. Normally you can relax and unwind in a car with driver or stay in a hotel.

Referees traveling across the country make them look tired on the field

Referees traveling across the country make them look tired on the field

Referees traveling across the country make them look tired on the field

Michael Oliver stayed overnight after the game at West Ham-Burnley last week, but was at Stockley Park the following night, before driving 300 miles home. He was back on Sunday for the North London derby.

This cannot help and I can see that a few referees looked tired and it shows in their decisions.

That said, I cannot accept some of the recent VAR errors. We saw three on Thursday evening that the referee was wrong but was not destroyed by the VAR – most blatantly when Harry Kane was pushed by Bournemouth’s Joshua King.

I don’t know why Oliver didn’t tell referee Paul Tierney to take a look at the pitchside monitor – he would have given a penalty if he had.

VAR is not the final decision – it should say, “We think there was a mistake. Look’. But if referees don’t make that final decision, they won’t be blamed, will they? So maybe some people like to hide behind that. Either way, the process is making too many mistakes.

Some of the VAR decisions have been incredibly controversial and have received much criticism

Some of the VAR decisions have been incredibly controversial and have received much criticism

Some of the VAR decisions have been incredibly controversial and have received much criticism

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