Home Sport Soccer Firmino’s ‘offside armpit’ stirs the debate over VAR

Firmino’s ‘offside armpit’ stirs the debate over VAR

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“Sometimes it’s in your favour, and sometimes it’s against you. That’s how it is. We have to make sure the new system helps the game and not confuses, that’s all.”

The passionate debate over Video Assistant Referee (VAR) reviews in the Premier League took a surreal turn on Saturday when Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino’s armpit was ruled offside.

Firmino’s 28th-minute shot would have been an equaliser for Liverpool, who were trailing 1-0 to Aston Villa at the time, but a linesman ruled him offside and VAR confirmed that.

“The red line signifies Firmino was aligned to his armpit, which was marginally ahead of the last Villa defender,” the Premier League tweeted by way of explanation above a photo with a line perpendicular to the ground going into the Brazilian’s armpit.

Liverpool might have been furious at the ruling – had they not scored two late goals to snatch victory.

“We won 2-1, it’s now not that serious,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said, adding that his analyst had shown him the incident after the game and he did not see an infraction.

“Sometimes it’s in your favour, and sometimes it’s against you. That’s how it is. We have to make sure the new system helps the game and not confuses, that’s all.”

Villa manager Dean Smith said he thought Firmino was hard done by. “They’ve had the disallowed goal which I thought was a goal.”

Reuters