Anthony Gordon questions ‘point of VAR’ after penalty decision: ‘Either get rid of it, or get better’

Anthony Gordon questioned “the point of VAR” after a decision to not award the Newcastle United winger a penalty following a challenge from Manchester United’s Sofyan Amrabat was not overturned during Wednesday’s Premier League loss.

Gordon appeared to be pulled and caught on the back of his heel by Amrabat as he entered the penalty area in the first half of Newcastle’s 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford, before Casemiro slid in to win the ball.

Referee Rob Jones did not award a penalty and he was not recommended to review this decision by Peter Bankes on VAR duty.

“I’ve watched the incident back, it’s a clear penalty,” Gordon told Sky Sports. “I don’t mind the referee getting it wrong on the pitch because it’s a difficult decision, things happen really quickly, but I don’t understand what the point of VAR is then. It’s there to correct mistakes, he goes down my Achilles and pushes me in the back, then Casemiro comes and gets the ball, but it’s two fouls before that. I honestly don’t see the point of it.

“I knew straightaway (it was a foul). That’s why I didn’t appeal, because I don’t mind the referee not giving it because it’s fast, but I’ll wait for the VAR to check. You can see me telling my team-mates, ‘Don’t worry, it’s a penalty, it’s a clear penalty.’ Then we carry on, I’ve got no sock left and I don’t understand the point of it, I really don’t.”

The incident happened hours after The Athletic reported Premier League clubs are set to hold a vote at their annual general meeting next month on a proposal to abolish the VAR system from the start of next season.

VAR has been used in the English top-flight since 2019, helping improve decision making but also generating persistent controversy.

Gordon said although he was in favour of the technology being used, he wanted the way it is implemented to be changed.

“It’s a big decision. I’m actually quite fond of it, I’m fond of the idea… It should be something that works in the league, but it’s not,” he added. “There’s constantly too many mistakes. We’ve missed too many chances there to blame it on anything else…

“It’s a clear, clear and obvious mistake. I don’t know how you can get it wrong. So either get rid of it, or get better, it’s very simple.”

Newcastle dropped to seventh in the Premier League after Wednesday’s defeat, with Chelsea moving ahead of them following their win over Brighton.

Eddie Howe’s side conclude the season at Brentford on Sunday.



Should Premier League clubs vote to scrap VAR? The case for and against the system

(Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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