Ilkay Gundogan: Manchester City midfielder says VAR takes emotion out of football

Ilkay Gundogan has expressed his frustrations with VAR technology
Image: Ilkay Gundogan has expressed his frustrations with VAR technology

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says VAR may help referees but thinks the technology is taking emotion out of football.

City have had a hard time with VAR already this season after being denied two goals in their opening three games due to marginal decisions which were not spotted by on-field officials.

The Premier League champions have also seen two penalty shouts turned down following VAR reviews, including during Sunday's 3-1 win away at Bournemouth when David Silva claimed to have been fouled in the box.

Pep Guardiola was unhappy at VAR for not awarding a penalty after David Silva went over in the box at Bournemouth
Image: Pep Guardiola was unhappy at VAR for not awarding a penalty after David Silva went over in the box at Bournemouth

After the game, City boss Pep Guardiola expressed his annoyance at the decision in a short and sarcastic rant over VAR, and Gundogan has echoed his manager's frustration.

"VAR is changing football not only for the players but also for the spectators and everyone who loves the game," Gundogan said.

A view of the VAR system pitch side during the Premier League match at Molineux, Wolverhampton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 19, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Wolves. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. 2:44
Former referee Neil Swarbrick says supporters need to trust video assistant referees after several high-profile incidents in the Premier League

"Unfortunately it takes away the main reason why we all love football, and that's the emotion.

"I'm not a big fan even though we can't deny that it helps the referee. But the big problem is that even when an incident has been referred to VAR, there is still not a clear judgement.

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Manchester City were denied a late winner against Tottenham after VAR spotted a handball
Image: Manchester City were denied a late winner against Tottenham after VAR spotted a handball

"After the games we are still discussing whether it was a goal, a penalty or offside. And I can't see this changing even with VAR.

"That is why I don't think it makes sense, but some people who run the game have decided it is going to help the referee and it's something we're just going to have to accept because we can't change right now.

"I'm sure it is going to help us in the future but it is also creating a lot of problems and I'm not sure how we can solve it."

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