VAR controversy and £15 Pay-Per-View costs cause further anger at Liverpool

Posted Monday, October 26, 2020 by

Liverpool were left frustrated by VAR once again on the pitch in their narrow 2-1 win over Sheffield United, while fans fumed at the £14.95 cost to watch the game on pay-per-view

Even on PPV, it was still all about VAR.

Both have caused so much anger on Merseyside lately. And in plenty of other parts of the country, too.

Liverpool fan groups followed some of their rivals this weekend by urging fellow supporters to put the £14.95 charge towards a foodbank charity rather than buying last night's pay-per-view offering.

They rightly don't agree that Premier League clubs and TV broadcasters should be allowed to charge to watch games when fans are banned from the stadium.

Many did and, at the last count before kick-off, more than £60,000 was in the coffers for a local foodbank charity to help families in need.

But while their goodwill can help boycott PPV, they can't get away from VAR.

VAR controversy and £15 Pay-Per-View costs cause further anger at Liverpool
Liverpool midfielder Fabinho was adjudged to have fouled Sheffield United's Oli McBurnie inside the box (Image: Getty Images)

And yet again they were left fuming with the Video Assistant Referee. Even if some decisions would later go their way.

After the controversial system left questions over red cards, penalties and offsides in last weekend's Merseyside Derby, Liverpool must have felt it couldn't go against them again.

One decision definitely did though. Fabinho's tackle on Oli McBurnie appeared to be just outside of the area by a few millimetres while he also got a good contact on the ball.

Referee Mike Dean awarded a free-kick which the Kop midfielder-turn-defender was pleading against but it would get worse.

VAR Andre Marriner somehow decided it was on the line and inside the area and therefore a penalty. After a lengthy look, of course.

VAR controversy and £15 Pay-Per-View costs cause further anger at Liverpool
VAR awarded Sheffield United an early penalty

The bizarre nature of the rules means he didn't check if it was actually a foul. Figure that one out.

Jurgen Klopp and his players were not happy. But the absurdity of the system was shown up yet again.

At least Klopp and Co can take comfort in the fact it didn't cost them further.

When Andy Robertson's hand blocked a cross from George Baldock, the Kop defender's arm was adjudged not to have been in an unnatural position when the ball struck it.

In any sane world it is not a penalty but when you need a masters degree in astrophysics to work out the interpretation of the handball rule these days it could have been given.

VAR controversy and £15 Pay-Per-View costs cause further anger at Liverpool
Mohamed Salah had his goal chalked off (Image: REUTERS)

In fact, we have seen lesser handballs punished but this wasn't.

Then Sheffield United had another shout when Trent Alexander-Arnold left McBurnie on the floor after an aerial challenge but, again, it would have been soft.

There was more confusion though when Diogo Jota tripped Sander Berge – who scored the earlier penalty – in the area and there was no VAR intervention.

Why? Who knows at this stage.

That certainly looked more of a penalty than the one given.

It all seems as confusing as a decision to charge people nearly £15 to watch a game of football on the box in the middle of a pandemic.

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