Dermot Gallagher defends VAR amid Cameroon controversy against England
Cameroon twice refused to restart play after two VAR goal decisions went against them during their last-16 defeat to England
Last Updated: 26/06/19 10:36am
Dermot Gallagher has defended VAR after more controversy in the Women's World Cup marred England's win over Cameroon.
VAR will be used in the Premier League for the first time from August to intervene on 'clear and obvious errors' or 'serious missed incidents' relating to goals, penalties, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity.
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But it has continued to make the headlines during the Women's World Cup, with Cameroon twice refusing to restart play after two VAR goal decisions went against them during their last-16 defeat to England.
"The referee has the VAR there and players were explained about VAR before the competition," Gallagher told Sky Sports.
"Everybody knew how it worked. The referee has made two absolutely correct decisions in line with the protocol."
The Cameroon players initially threatened to stop playing at the end of the first half after a VAR review overturned an offside decision and awarded England their second goal of the game.
There was more VAR controversy after the break when Ajara Nchout looked to have pulled a goal back for Cameroon, but it was disallowed for a marginal offside, which caused more anger among the Cameroon players and reduced Nchout to tears.
"The goal disallowed for Cameroon, yeah you feel a bit of sympathy for them because before VAR I'm positive that wouldn't have been spotted," added Gallagher.
"It's a very tight, difficult call but VAR has no tolerance level. Every player knows that. When you see it, the lines across the pitch, it's quite clear that the Cameroon player is just offside. Only just offside, but offside is offside.
"There is no tolerance level and therefore the goal was correctly disallowed."
After the match, England manager Phil Neville said he was "ashamed" of the Cameroon players' reaction to the decisions but praised the performance of the referee, Liang Qin.
"I feel sorry for the referee," said Neville. "The decisions were correct, and I think the referee at the end was probably trying to protect football in not giving the penalty, not giving the sending off, and I admire her unbelievably for that."
Former referee Gallagher thought the behaviour of the Cameroon players would have been a tough situation for any referee to handle.
"They have to continue playing or the game has to be abandoned," Gallagher said. "The referee really is in a very bad position at that point because she wants the game to continue.
"She knows she's made the right decisions. You don't want to abandon the game - that's the last resort in anything so you have to try and reason with the players.
"Fortunately, the players came to their senses and continued playing."
VAR was also used at the 2018 World Cup and in last season's Champions League knockout stages, with the technology making dramatic interventions during Tottenham's semi-final victory over Manchester City.
"It's a work in progress there's no doubt about that," former referee Gallagher added. "I think in the Premier League they want to adopt a slightly different policy in so much as the referee will still have the option to go to the screen, but they won't go maybe as often as the referees do in this tournament or in other tournaments I've seen.
"But what you have to remember is when you look at the decisions that are made, these are big, big match-changing decisions and by-and-large they've got the decisions right.
"The offside goal given that put Tottenham through to the Champions League semi-final - the goal that was disallowed with Aguero, was a VAR decision which would never have been picked up by the assistant. It was such a difficult call that was picked up by VAR.
"Everybody wanted the correct decision and the correct decision there saw Tottenham through to the Champions League semi-final rather than Manchester City. Now when you look at it like you cannot argue with the system."
Earlier in June, the Premier League confirmed that, along with graphics, clubs will be able to display "definitive" clips to help explain VAR decisions when the system is implemented for the 2019/20 season.