VAR officials are ‘frightened to death to overrule on-site colleagues’, claims Man Utd legend Gary Neville

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MANCHESTER UNITED legend Gary Neville has claimed that Premier League VAR officials are “frightened” to overrule decisions made by the on-site referee.

In most leagues implementing video technology, it is customary for the on-field official to consult a pitch-side monitor for big decisions.

But in England, the Premier League have tried to avoid trips to the monitor with an eye on reducing the length of time taken by video reviews.

Amid a spate of controversial calls, however, including Bruno Fernandes’ penalty incident at Aston Villa last night, full-back-turned-pundit Neville, 45, believes that now is the time to get into line with the rest of Europe.

He tweeted: “On VAR. Send the Ref to the screens for goodness sake!

“The ‘we know better’ than Europe way is failing badly. The officials off-site are frightened to death to overrule on-site colleagues .”

On last night’s incident, in which United were awarded a penalty after a VAR failed to overturn Jon Moss’ decision with the score tied 0-0 at Villa Park, former top-flight referee Mark Halsey told SunSport that the wrong call was made.

He said: “Manchester United should not have been awarded a first half penalty at Aston Villa.

“Referee Jon Moss deemed Ezri Konsa fouled Bruno Fernandes but I disagree with the decision.

“The Villa defender went to block the ball, he didn’t commit a foul and it was a tangle of legs.

“If anything Fernandes fouled Konsa when the Portuguese midfielder stood on the defender, lost his balance and his momentum took him to the ground.

“It was clever play by Fernandes but I don’t think it was an act of simulation. 

“Fernandes gave Moss a decision to make and he felt it was a penalty.

“VAR official Graham Scott viewed the incident but didn’t think it was a clear and obvious error.

“Moss would have benefited by looking at the pitchside monitor.”

PL fans did recently see the monitor used when Chris Kavanagh decided to send off Eddie Nketiah during Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Tuesday night.

But boss Mikel Arteta was still left fuming following the incident, and in particular at the inconsistency that saw Jamie Vardy’s earlier challenge on Shkodran Mustafi go unchecked in the same manner.

The Spaniard said: “The red card, he [Eddie] cannot see the player and didn’t want to hurt anybody. You have to understand he is a young kid.

“It can be a red card but Leicester have to play for ten men after 42 minutes. For one challenge between the 40 and 45 minutes.

“If we review incidents of that type we review them all. It has to be something equal for everybody because it changes the game for everybody.

“If Eddie is a red card for sure the other is a red card.”

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