Juan Mata backs VAR despite having his goal ruled out

Manchester United player was ruled offside after he scored against Huddersfield Town

Manchester United’s Juan Mata scores a goal that is disallowed due to offside after VAR (Video Assistant Referee) is consulted. Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters

Manchester United’s Juan Mata scores a goal that is disallowed due to offside after VAR (Video Assistant Referee) is consulted. Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters

 

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata remains a supporter of the Video Assistant Referee system despite it costing him a goal at the weekend.

The Spain international had an effort cancelled out for the narrowest of offsides — with television viewers seeing some strangely skewed lines superimposed on the screen — in Saturday’s FA Cup win at Huddersfield.

Despite that disappointment Mata is still a fan of the introduction of the technology.

“A lot has been said about the goal that I scored and was disallowed by the VAR. It was my first time, a new experience for me (and for almost all of us, actually),” he wrote in his blog on juanmata8.com.

“The truth is, once you have celebrated the goal you are surprised and disappointed (as you could see on my face), but this time, luckily, that goal was not needed to win.

The Video Assistant Referee screen as Mata’s goal was being reviewed. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
The Video Assistant Referee screen as Mata’s goal was being reviewed. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

“As I said in a few interviews after the game, even if this time it didn’t play in our favour, I think in the future the VAR will be helpful for the referees, who always have a difficult job, and eventually it will bring more justice to football.

“Given that an unfair call or a wrong one might have significant consequences (sending a team to relegation, having a manager sacked, etc.), I understand that we must try to make the final result as fair as possible, and that’s where I think that a proper use of the VAR can be really helpful.

“Technology can help football to be more fair, especially nowadays when it seems that the result is the only thing that matters (we could write a whole book on this subject :-)).

“I believe, though, that such technology should be restricted to a few particular actions that are crucial in the game (in order to avoid too many interruptions), and especially that the final decision should take less time and be more clear than last Saturday’s.”

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