There is a massive VAR boost for everyone connected with West Ham after the Chelsea debacle and it comes at just the right time.
I think it is safe to say West Ham are in serious need of a break from VAR after the ludicrous 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday.
There was plenty of controversy surrounding West Ham’s trip to Stamford Bridge.
Referee Andy Madley and VAR official Jarred Gillet combined for what is being dubbed the worst decision since the introduction of the technology.
Madley saw nothing wrong with Maxwel Cornet’s last gasp equaliser for West Ham at Stamford Bridge.
But Gillet sent Madley to the pitchside monitor and he overturned his original decision to inexplicably rule that Jarrod Bowen had fouled hapless Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
It was not the only controversial incident in the game, either. Chelsea star Reece James could clearly be seen kicking out at Michail Antonio in the hip with his studs.
But the incident was not reviewed by VAR and both players were booked. West Ham fans quickly pointed out Fabian Balbuena’s infamous VAR dismissal against Chelsea a couple of seasons ago for completely accidentally catching a Blues player when he was clearing the ball.
After the horrendous VAR call against Nottingham Forest and a string of other incidents in the Europa League last season too, West Ham fans are completely sick of the word VAR and the sight of the video techonology.
Massive VAR boost for West Ham after Chelsea debacle and it comes at just the right time
Well there is a massive VAR boost for West Ham after the Chelsea debacle and it comes at just the right time.
Because there is no VAR for West Ham in Thursday night’s Europa Conference League game against FCSB at the London Stadium.
In fact there will be no VAR for West Ham in Europa Conference League unless the Hammers make the finals.
Europa Conference League rules state that in principle VAR may only be used in the semi-finals and final of the competition.
There is the potential for that to change should UEFA decide to allow VAR in other matches or not at all in the competition.
Article 50.3 of the UEFA Europa Conference League regulations on VAR reads: “In principle, VARs may only be used in the final.
However, UEFA may decide to use VARs in other matches as well, or not to use VARs in the final.
“Should it prove necessary for whatever reason, matches may start and/or finish without the use of VARs, and any failure, unavailability, use or non-use of the VAR technology will in no way prejudice the validity of the referee’s decisions, with such decisions being final in all cases.”
There will be no VAR on Thursday and UEFA has stated, at this stage, they only plan to use VAR in the final.
West Ham’s qualifying games against Viborg were not only a better watch without it but also flowed much more freely. There was almost a sense of nostalgia playing those games without VAR.
It certainly won’t be missed on Thursday night but will no doubt be back with a vengeance when West Ham welcome Newcastle to the London Stadium on Sunday.