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11th Nov 2019

“It’s ruining the spectacle” – McCarthy wades into VAR row

Rob O'Hanrahan

Mick McCarthy prefers it the way it was.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for VAR.

The technology has been dominating the discourse every weekend since the beginning of the season, with fractional offside calls from the 2003/04 season ruling out goals and handballs not being handballs because when does a hand really become a hand and not just an extension of the soul itself?

Sheffield United and their Irish contingent suffered the flashpoint this weekend, as Enda Stevens assisting David McGoldrick’s “equaliser” against Spurs was ruled out due to John Lundstram’s failure to clip his toenails that morning.

Speaking to the press this afternoon as Ireland prepare for a friendly against New Zealand on Thursday before the vital final Euro 2020 Qualifier against Denmark on Monday, McCarthy was pretty clear on where he stood on VAR, bringing it up in response to a question involving David McGoldrick;

“How the hell his goal was disallowed on Saturday is beyond me, but that’s another matter… My view is that it’s ruining (the game) at the minute, it’s ruining the spectacle. My son was at the Tottenham game (v Sheffield United) on Saturday and he said “Da, it took 4 minutes and then they all started booing”… It’s the most ridiculous decision I’ve seen. We used to complain about referees, now we’re complaining about something we can’t see, I suppose that’s anonymous for them, that’s ok… TC (Terry Connor) and I used to watch the games back on a Monday morning, and despite the fact we might have been having a bleat and a whinge about the referees, Monday morning, 95% I would say of the decisions they got right. There might have been a throw-in… and then there would be an odd one where it’s a real blatant one and we’d be moaning, and then the following week there would be a blatant one in our favour, and there wouldn’t be one for 2 or 3 months. At the end of the season it probably equalled itself out. And despite all this technology, they’re still not sure that they’re getting the decisions right, so I preferred it before I must be honest.”

McCarthy reported a clean bill of health at the press conference, aside from Aaron Connolly who will be scanned this afternoon after picking up an injury against Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.