First VAR controversy of the season as Man City star Gabriel Jesus has goal vs West Ham disallowed for offside


VAR was used for the first time this Premier League season – and ruled out Gabriel Jesus’ goal for offside.

The Brazilian thought he had fired Manchester City into a 3-0 lead away at West Ham and bagged his second of the game.

This was the offside from Raheem Sterling that saw Gabriel Jesus’ goal ruled out
BT Sport
Raheem Sterling could not believe the goal was disallowed because of millimetres

But referee Mike Dean referred the goal to the technology booth – and it was decided that Raheem Sterling was offside in the build-up.

Unsurprisingly Jesus was furious, and it really was the smallest of margins – literally millimetres offside.

And it was something that would never have been picked up by the naked eye when assistant referees were charged with making the call.

And the decision did not go down too well with football fans and ex-pros.

It was an offside the naked eye would never have seen
Sky Sports
Manchester City fans were soon silenced by the new technology
PA:Press Association

Former Manchester United and England defender Paul Parker told BBC Radio London: “That’s incredible.

“It can’t just be down to the thickness of a shirt.

“I don’t want to talk about it anymore because I feel like I’m repeating myself.

“It just doesn’t make any sense at all to me.”

The opinions were fairly split on social media.

Dave Robinson wrote: “This is exactly how you kill VAR.

“Your armpit being 1mm offside is not what it was meant to be for.”


Howard Rogers posted: “The offside rule needs to be changed and the way VAR is used needs to be re-evaluated.”

And Liam Wildman added: “Gonna destroy the game this var.

“How can you disallow a goal of that quality for your shoulder being an inch offside?”

But others believed tight or not, it was the correct call.

Marc Trainis wrote: “Clear and obvious not part of the VAR for offside you are either onside or offside. Fact.”

Another posted: “Absolutely, if it’s offside it’s offside 2mm or 6cm, it doesn’t matter.

VAR can easily be changed

THE biggest critics of VAR have shifted their ire from its simple existence, to lamenting the confusing, emotion-killing fan experience.

And they are right to do so – but it can be changed so easily.

There are monstrous screens behind both goals at the London 2012 stadium.

But neither showed what happened in either incident where Raheem Sterling was offside, then onside, nor the bizarre re-taken penalty, nor Michail Antonio’s reviewed ‘elbow’ on Aymeric Laporte.

It turned out that all the decisions were correct, but nobody knew why.

The Lukasz Fabianski incident was even more confusing.

He didn’t have his foot on the line when the kick, which he saved, was taken. But virtually nobody in the stadium saw that.

As Sterling said after the game: “At the end of the day, as long as the decision is right, that is all that matters.”

True for the players, but it’s time to stop insulting fans’ intelligence and show them what is going on there and then.

Rugby union will prove, once again, during next month’s World Cup, that they have their version – called TMO – just right.

Referees are mic’d up and it is broadcast and show in the stadium. Who loses out? Nobody.

It’s time for football to follow the egg-shaped ball.

By Alex Terrell at London Stadium


“Imagine if you had the var team saying they didn’t give it as offside as it was only offside by 2mm.

“Clear boundaries needed.”

VAR was called again not long after when Sterling netted. But thankfully for the England man his goal stood this time.


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