Search icon


20th Oct 2022

Michail Antonio says that VAR ‘has made refereeing worse’

Callum Boyle

Michail Antonio

‘They go, ‘alright, if I get the decision wrong, VAR will get the decision right’

Michail Antonio believes that the introduction of VAR has made the standard of officiating worse as referees now have “something to fall back on.”

Antonio’s comments referred to the performance of the referees in Liverpool’s 1-0 win against Manchester City on Sunday as well as West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Southampton, in which manager David Moyes said that VAR “needs to go to Specsavers.”

The forward said that Romain Perraud’s opener for the Saints should not have stood as referee Peter Bankes accidentally blocked Jarrod Bowen’s path to the ball while also accusing Kyle Walker-Peters of committing a foul throw in the build-up.

Michail Antonio

VAR checked the goal and allowed it to stand, but Antonio said he wanted to see more consistency with the technology and that officials are using it as a way to deflect the blame away from them.

Speaking alongside Callum Wilson on the The Footballer’s Football Podcast, he said: “Consistency is what you want.

“I honestly feel VAR’s made the refereeing worse, because they have something to fall back on. They go, ‘alright, if I get the decision wrong, VAR will get the decision right’.

“It gives them the comfort of, ‘I can leave it to VAR and if they mess it up, they’re in more trouble than I am because they’re looking at a video, whereas I’m watching it live’.”

The Jamaica international isn’t alone in his thoughts either. Tottenham boss Antonio Conte suggested that refereeing and VAR in England is not at the required level.

Additionally, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), admitted they had got controversial decisions made at Chelsea and Newcastle United wrong back in September.

Related links: