Mick McCarthy believes VAR is ruining football as a spectacle

‘We used to complain about referees and now we complain about somebody that we can’t see’

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy at a press conference at Abbotstown on Monday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mick McCarthy has claimed VAR is ruining football after admitting referees used to get “95 per cent” of decisions correct anyway.

The Ireland boss was mystified after David McGoldrick, who trained with his international team-mates in Abbotstown on Monday, was denied a goal in Sheffield United’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Tottenham on Saturday.

What would have been an equaliser for the Blades was ruled out by the video assistant referee because John Lundstram’s toe was adjudged to have been offside after a lengthy wait, leaving more than one member of the McCarthy family perplexed.

The Ireland boss said: “My view is that it’s ruining it at the minute, it’s ruining it as a spectacle.


“My son was at the Tottenham game on Saturday and he said, ‘Dad, it was four minutes and they all start booing . . . ’ It was the most ridiculous decision I’ve seen.

“We used to complain about referees and now we complain about somebody that we can’t see. I suppose that’s anonymous for them, that’s okay.”

McCarthy admitted he has not been averse throughout his career to moaning about officials.

However, he also acknowledged that he and long-time assistant Terry Connor would always sit down on a Monday morning to review the weekend's game and often discovered that the referees were right more often than not.

He said: “TC and I would always watch the games back on a Monday morning. Despite the fact we might have been having a bleat and a whinge about the referees, Monday morning, 95 per cent, I would say, of the decisions they got right.

“There might be a throw-in and then there would be an odd one where it’s a real blatant one and we’d be moaning, and then there would be a blatant one in our favour and then there wouldn’t be one for two or three months and at the end of the season, it probably equalled itself out.

“And despite all this technology, I’m still not sure that they get the decisions right, so I preferred it before, I must be honest.”