Rejecting VAR a very bad decision, says Wenger

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Newcastle 2-1 Arsenal: Arsene Wenger criticises Gunners’ mistakes

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has criticised the Premier League’s decision to not implement video assistant referees (VAR) next season.

Wenger was speaking after Arsenal lost 2-1 at Newcastle in a game that saw a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shot hit the hand of defender Jamaal Lascelles.

“We are behind the rest of the world,” the 68-year-old Frenchman said.

“The Premier League has again decided not to go for VAR and I believe that is a very, very bad decision.”

Wenger, who was also unhappy with a challenge by Magpies midfielder Kenedy on Alexandre Lacazette, added: “Every big game this season has been decided by mistakes that could have been avoided with VAR.”

As an example, he cited the incorrect decision to disallow a Leroy Sane goal for offside at a crucial stage in the second leg of Manchester City’s Champions League defeat by Liverpool last Tuesday, a tie in which VAR was not used.

“The Premier League has been created by people who had a progressive mind and wanted to be in front of the rest in Europe. It worked,” Wenger added.

“The young generation is used to [VAR] and worldwide, they might move away from us because they see that in other countries they do it.”

The decision not to bring in the system next season was made at a recent Premier League shareholders meeting in London, when all 20 member clubs voted.

Those clubs agreed that advanced testing on the use of the video technology will continue to the end of 2018-19, with the system again implemented for FA Cup and League Cup matches next term.

Some 40 countries are using, trialling or interested in VAR technology, and both Germany and Italy introduced VAR across their top leagues this season.

However, technical problems led to 47% of Bundesliga players wanting to abolish the system, according to a survey published in Kicker magazine in January.



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