Juventus coach Sarri angry over VAR confusion

Reuters , Sunday 23 Feb 2020

Juventus' Italian coach Maurizio Sarri looks on during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Brescia on February 16, 2020 (Photo: AFP)

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri complained about VAR confusion in his team’s match at SPAL on Saturday, saying it was a “great injustice” that a penalty was awarded against his side following a review even though the pitchside monitor was not working.

The Turin side were leading 2-0 when SPAL’s Simone Missiroli went down under a challenge from Daniele Rugani in the penalty area. Andrea Pestagna converted although Juventus still won 2-1.

Referee Federico La Penna, who initially waved played on, was alerted to a possible infraction. But he appeared to have problems with his ear-piece, instead talking to VAR officials via a walkie-talkie and when he tried to review the incident on a pitchside monitor, that was not working either.

He eventually awarded the penalty on the basis of information from the VAR officials — much to the anger of the Juventus bench.

“Today, we conceded a penalty on the basis of VAR even though VAR wasn’t working. It seems a big injustice to me,” said Sarri.

“If the monitor doesn’t work, the (pitch) referee should decide. If it had happened the other way around, the world would have collapsed.

“I am the first coach to suffer a penalty on the basis of a VAR decision without the referee looking at it,” he added. “I understand that the rules allow it and La Penna explained it to me but I do not agree with it.”

Serie A referees generally consult the pitchside monitor when reviewing an incident, unlike their counterparts in the English Premier League who rely on information from the video officials.

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