VAR: Leicester boss Claude Puel welcomes video refereeing

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Iheanacho scores first VAR goal in English football

Manager Claude Puel said he liked video assistant refereeing, after Leicester became the first club in English football to benefit from a VAR decision in their FA Cup win over Fleetwood.

Kelechi Iheanacho's second goal in a 2-0 victory was initially disallowed for offside, before being awarded 67 seconds after it hit the net.

"The time was not so long," Frenchman Puel told BBC Radio 5 live.

But Fleetwood counterpart Uwe Rosler said: "I don't like it."

The German, whose homeland has introduced VAR into the top flight this season, said: "In general in Germany there are split opinions. Some situations you can't be 100% on VAR - is the decision right or wrong?

"My opinion is don't complicate the game - it's beautiful as it is. People try to make it different for some reason. I don't like it, it interrupts the flow. Today we were on the wrong side but in general I don't like it."

What is VAR and how does it work?

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How does VAR work?

VAR is already used in Germany's Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A and other competitions. It was used in last summer's Confederations Cup and in England's friendlies against France and Germany. But it has not yet joined goalline technology in the Premier League.

It is still being trialled in English football. Leicester v Fleetwood was the third time VAR has been used this month, after Brighton v Crystal Palace in the FA Cup and Chelsea v Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.

It can be used only for goals, penalties, straight red cards and mistaken identity. It can only be implemented for a clear and obvious error - not if the referee decides he wants another check.

He has the choice of reversing, or sticking with, his initial decision based on the video referee's opinion - or he can view it himself on a screen next to the pitch.

What happened on Tuesday?

Kelechi Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho scores...
Jonathan Moss
Or does he? Referee Jonathan Moss initially rules it out but then speaks to the video referee
Jonathan Moss
Then he signals that it is a goal
Kelechi Iheancho
And Leicester can finally celebrate

76:20 - Iheanacho has the ball in the back of the net and wheels around to celebrate.

76:22 - Referee Jonathan Moss blows his whistle to disallow the goal after his assistant flags for offside.

76:29 - Moss has his hand to his ear to indicate he is consulting with the video referee Mike Jones - who is in an office in London. For most of the next minute, Moss is listening rather than speaking.

77:27 - Moss signals the shape of a TV screen with his hands, to indicate he is changing his decision, and blows his whistle to award the goal.

How did everyone react?

BBC Radio 5 live commentator Alan Green: "The referee pointed to his ear after Iheanacho's goal was called offside and Jon Moss waited and waited. We'll have to get used to this, but he gives the goal and it was the right decision.

"We're not going to get every decision right but the use of VAR will definitely help with a lot of them."

BBC Radio 5 live pundit Kevin Kilbane: "You do feel for the assistant but it's such a tight call, you know it's a tough one, but ultimately the final decision is now right.

"What I did like was that the decision was made upstairs - Jon Moss didn't have to go and view it, the decision was made for him.

"I also liked that Jon Moss waited, he took his time, he trusted what was being said to him, he made the call and that was it.

"I'm perfectly happy with that, I'm perfectly happy with it all."

Times chief football writer Henry Winter: "VAR worked perfectly there. Still issues to be ironed out, speeding up/informing fans better, but that historic Iheanacho goal will quell many of the doubts."

Goalscorer Iheanacho: "I didn't know if I was onside or offside but I agree totally now that I was onside. We just waited to see what the decision was."

Leicester team-mate Jamie Vardy: "This man got the goals and has shown that VAR does work."

How you reacted on #bbcfootball...

Peter: Who needs Vardy when you've got VAR.

Gareth: VAR needs to be in the Premier League, some teams could go down due to bad decisions - well done to the FA Cup to try VAR.

Steve: Can we stop doubting VAR please. Football referees are no longer a laughing stock! Obvious bad decisions are a thing of the past, pundits will now have to talk about something else. How about a campaign to stop players and manager abusing officials?

Ben Ingram: So VAR works, who knew? It's not like the technology has been around like, for ever! Or, like there has been any big tournament decisions that cost anyone in the past?

Chris Wimslow: Tonight's VAR use highlights a major issue with it - linesmen will just rely on it. Even if a player is half a yard onside, they'll flag and refer to VAR to be on the safe side. We're going to see it 15-20 times a game.

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