Dermot Gallagher explains VAR technical issues in Tottenham vs Aston Villa game

Former Premier League referee, Dermot Gallagher, has shed some light on the fact that VAR was not fully functional for the first ten minutes of Tottenham’s recent game against Aston Villa, and insists it wasn’t a serious issue.

Tottenham fell to their third straight defeat on Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 reverse against Aston Villa. Spurs had taken the lead through a Giovani Lo Celso goal, but a dominant first-half display was tarnished by a Pau Torres header in the dying moments of the first 45.

Villa completed their comeback in the second half, with Ollie Watkins proving how clinical he can be to round off a finely-worked move.

The result sees Ange Postecoglous men drop to fifth in the Premier League table.

It was a game without much in the way of controversy, in relative to recent weeks in the league. Aside from a handful of disallowed goals for fairly clear offsides, and a dangerous challenge on Rodrigo Bentancur, VAR had little in the way of big decisions.

Ange Postecoglou
(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

VAR issues in Tottenham vs Aston Villa explained

In fact, issues with the link between the VAR room and the pitch side monitor at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium almost prevented effective communication entirely, but Dermot Gallagher explained why this wasn’t too much of a problem.

He told Sky Sports: “The VAR was working, the feed was going into Stockley Park, they could see everything. The problem was it wasn’t relaying to the monitor in the ground.

“So if VAR checked an incident, they would’ve had to relay back to the referee what they had seen. The referee couldn’t go to the monitor.

“The referee is there to referee the game. The VAR is a backup. It only lasted ten minutes, but during that time [the game] was at the mercy of VAR, if you like, for any key match incident, rather than going to the screen.

“Everybody knew at the ground, it was relayed to the broadcasters… I could hear that, I could hear the VAR saying to the referee that they had checked and cleared everything.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I don’t think this is too big a deal, as clearly everything was still being checked and communicated. Had an issue been serious enough within that ten-minute period that a monitor was normally required, it would have been very interesting to see what would’ve happened. 

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