VAR took center stage on Saturday in the Premier League, as three very similar calls saw three goals chalked off.
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The incidents all came in separate games, as Dan Burn and Teemu Pukki had goals disallowed and Wilfried Zaha’s cross led to Max Meyer’s goal which was ruled out as all three players had half a shoulder, at most, offside.
Needless to say, plenty of fans are in uproar about the decisions, as long delays led to VAR officials disallowing goals as “armpit offside” has now been replaced by “shoulder offside” in the VAR drinking game, PL style.
Below the video of Pukki’s incident is broken down by our crew as the Premier League released a statement on the decision, while there are also still images of Crystal Palace’s disallowed goal and Burn’s goal being chalked off to show just how tight all three goals were.
“After consulting the VAR, Kevin Friend has overturned the goal because Teemu Pukki was offside in the build-up,” the Premier League said in a statement.
Fans and pundits are calling for VAR to stop being used on tight offside goal decisions, but if the technology is there, why wouldn’t we use it?
There is a legitimate argument to be made that the offside rule needs tweaking by IFAB to allow a clear distance between attacking and defending players, but many point to VAR getting it correct as any body part which can score a goal being offside is crystal clear.
We haven’t heard the end of this debate and it will rumble on for many months, if not years, as leading officials have suggested that it will take up to three years for VAR to work correctly and smoothly in the Premier League.
Between now and then, incidents like the ones below will be debated across the globe?
Let's talk VAR pic.twitter.com/ZMKCfSFzxv
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 28, 2019
🚨 We shall rename today "offside by a shoulder day" in the Premier League.
First it was Dan Burn, then Wilfried Zaha and now Teemu Pukki all have goals chalked off by VAR for being offside… pic.twitter.com/k4mxWZAtMI
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) December 28, 2019