Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder was left distinctly unimpressed by the failure to award his side a penalty in the 1-0 defeat to Southampton.
Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse clearly handled the ball in the box but referee Lee Mason did not point to the spot. It was thought VAR may have been used to overturn the decision by after consulting the video, the officials decided to stay with the onfield decision. Wilder was left scratching his head as to why the penalty wasn’t given:
“It’s a penalty If you look, there’s two or three of our boys waiting to tap it in. I don’t think they can get it wrong. The hand was out there.”
“Maybe in four weeks’ time, someone will come out and say it’s a mistake. You expect with all the talk and the debate it’s a pretty easy one to pick up. I don’t know why they had that meeting then, eh?”
Head referee Mike Riley had admitted in a meeting with the Premier League last week that VAR had already made four mistakes this season in not overturning decisions.
Considering that the system was brought in to improve decision making, it hasn’t really had the desired effect so far. Whether officials will improve in using the VAR over the coming weeks and months, we shall have to wait and see.