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Yellows leading to red cards need VAR check

Blind Hammer looks at the inconsistent implementation of VAR.

Whatever you think about VAR, it’s introduction is justified by the ambition to prevent unfair game changing mistakes. Vast amounts of money are now predicated on referees getting decisions right and VAR is the second line of defence to ensure fairness.

There is no doubt that having a player sent off is game changing and VAR rightly is used for checking the appropriateness of any so called “straight red card offences”.

Indeed in the Villa game Mike Dean utilised VAR to consider an extraordinary incident between Anwar El Ghazi and Tyrone Mings When El Ghazi pushed his forehead into that of his teammate. He used VAR review to decide it was not a serious head butt worthy of a Red Card.

What is baffling then is that this type of red card decision is apparently seen as more game changing than another .

Arthur Masuaku’s second half dismissal was not subjected to any VAR review, because his Red card was the result of two yellow cards.

Masuaku’s dismissal was certainly harsh and, in many quarters , considered unjustified. Manuel Pellegrini complained that the decision was “The typical second yellow card when you play away”. It should certainly have, at the very least, been subjected to review.

The argument is that introducing VAR for Yellow Cards would introduce even more delay . For complete consistency you would need to review each Yellow Card leading to a Red Card dismissal.

However this ignores the whole point of VAR which  was introduced to eliminate clear and obvious game changing errors.

Therefore any decision leading to a Red Card should be subjected to VAR Review, no matter if this is because of a second Yellow Card . The important point is the game changing nature of the decision/mistake, not the colour of the card.

It is completely illogical and absurd to say, as the system currently does, that one kind of Red Card dismissal is more game changing than another.

It is also illogical that if Masuaku’s’ card had been the result of a alleged “straight Red Card” offence he could appeal to have his suspension overturned . Because his Red Card was the result of 2 yellow cards he does not have this recourse .

The current inconsistent implementation of FA and VAR rules continue to reinforce Referee error rather than redress their failings. It is time for a more logical and consistent approach.


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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

7 comments on “Yellows leading to red cards need VAR check

  1. David, I couldn’t agree more. The whole system needs to be overhauled. Mistake after mistake is being made, many of them game changing. Certain refs make continual knee jerk decisions that are proved to be wrong in hindsight but because they don’t get reviewed they cannot be put right. Why not review a second yellow, it is , after all, a red card. Instead of correcting the errors of officials it only seems to work in the case of penalties awarded or goals wiped out. Last weekend Matip was crudely wrestled to the ground in his opponents box. No penalty was awarded. The referee was deemed not to have made a clear and obvious error. Still no pen although it quite obviously was. Linesmen now rely on VAR for offside decisions instead of using their own eyes. The whole thing needs re organising. It was introduced to make the game fairer but how was the Matip incident or even Masuakus sending off fair?

  2. Just to be clear, the headline has changed and is a little misleading. Dean did not sell Mas short by the current rules. The article is about changing VAR rules so that they apply to all Red Cards, irrespective of whether they are straight red card or red cards following 2 yellows. At the moment only straight red cards are subject to VAR review, and not red cards folowing 2 yellows. So Dean had no option to use VAR at all. This should change so that VAR can be used with all red card decisions.

    • Sorry Dave. I’ll redo headline

      • Hi Hugh it could well have been a game changing decision . Logically we would of had more chance of scoring with 11 men so who knows it may have cost us two. The point is fair though why are two yellows not reviewed by VAR and are the FA likely to change the rule if pressure is put on them.

  3. I agree a red card is a game changer and it’s to late after you have lost a game for the card to be recinded.
    If the same head butt had been done to a westham player, you can be sure he would have been sent off.

  4. Always enjoy reading your contributions David and you’re spot on in your views on this. What annoys me is that the whole dynamics of a game are changed by red cards which completely spoils the game as a spectacle and dare I say gives certain referees a chance to make a name for themselves. Ultimately football is an entertainment business and rather than totally spoil an entire match for those who have paid a lot of money to watch and travel I would prefer to see a rugby style sin bin so a player with 2 bookable offences has to leave the pitch for say 15 minutes which is long enough to penalise the offending player and his team but doesn’t ruin the entire match for those watching.

  5. I know there were some arguments over this at the start of VAR, but I still think it makes sense that team managers and team managers only should have the opportunity to request a VAR review in situations like this. A bit like tennis.

    To make sure its not abused they could have a limit, 1 per game or even just 10 per season.

    I think everyone will agree that if this rule was in place we would have finished the game with 11 men.

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