Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho supports the use of the video assistant referee (VAR) system despite the mixed response it has generated since its debut in English football in the FA Cup last month.
United play their first match with VAR when they travel to Huddersfield Town for their FA Cup fifth round clash on Saturday and Mourinho stressed that the technology had to be embraced, although it needed to iron out some issues.
“Of course they (VAR) need adjustments,” Mourinho told the club’s website (www.manutd.com).
“They need to make sure they don’t change the dynamic of the game too much, the emotion of the game too much – people waiting a couple of minutes to know if they can jump (and celebrate) because it was a goal. But from my professional perspective, I like the feeling of a right decision coming. It’s a penalty or not a penalty, it’s handball or not handball, it’s a red card or not a red card. I think a fair decision is a feeling that I like.”
The technology is also being trialled around the world, however critics have pointed out the length of the reviews while some supporters in the stadium are unhappy at being left in the dark about replays that TV viewers can watch over again.
English clubs are not alone in experiencing teething trouble related to the use of the system, with VAR decisions seemingly only adding to the confusion rather than stopping it in Italy’s Seria A.
VAR induced more controversy on Monday when the Portuguese football federation (FPF) said it had been wrongly used to disallow a goal at the weekend.
Backing the referees, Mourinho added: “They want to perform the best they can, they don’t like to make mistakes… so if the referees are happy with technological support, then yes, let’s go for the VAR.”