Football Expert & Columnist
Tottenham: Jamie Redknapp slams VAR decision to rule out equaliser at Sheffield United
Tottenham beaten at Sheffield United after controversial call
Last Updated: 03/07/20 3:40pm
Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp has condemned the VAR decision to rule out an equalising goal for Tottenham at Sheffield United as "one of the worst decisions I have ever seen".
Moments after the hosts broke the deadlock with a goal by Sander Berge, Tottenham celebrated what they felt was an equalising goal when Harry Kane slotted the ball past Dean Henderson.
But after a lengthy review, the 'goal' was ruled out after VAR detected the arm of Lucas Moura touching the ball when the Spurs forward was bundled over during the build-up to Kane's strike.
"This is one of the worst decisions I have ever seen," said an unimpressed Redknapp.
"I get the letter of the law but we have to show some common sense. When you get fouled, you have to put your arms down. It was accidental - he's not meant it.
- Sheffield United 3-1 Tottenham - Match report and highlights
- £18 Premier League and Football channel offer
- Get Sky Sports - Over 100 games in 6 weeks
"It is a horrendous decision. He has got it completely wrong - and this is ruining football, things like this. Unbelievable."
But while he agreed that the decision to disallow Kane's equaliser was "harsh" and "unfair", Sky Sports co-commentator Andy Hinchcliffe added: "The law was correctly applied. If you don't like the law, you change the law. We can't lambast the officials for making the right decision, which they did."
Pressed for his view on the incident, Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports: "I'd like to but I can't say what I think, I'll be in trouble. I'll be suspended. I don't want to be. The one here is not the referee. The referee is hidden in some office. The referee is there."
How the incident unfolded
So will the handball rule be changed?
Those expecting this handball rule to change next season will be disappointed... currently, there are no plans to alter the rulebook regarding handballs.
And why wasn't a free-kick awarded? Because VAR cannot overrule a referee's decision on free-kicks. If he played advantage, however, that's a whole new layer of complication...
What the rulebook says...
From the Premier League website:
"Any goal scored or created with the use of the hand or arm will be disallowed this season even if it is accidental.
"The handball rule now has extra clarity because it does not consider intent by a player."
VAR controversies this season
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder sympathised with Jose Mourinho over the incident but later admitted in his press conference that his side felt like "the unofficial champions of Europe" when it came to be on the wrong end of decisions involving the technology.
Here are some standout flashpoints from the campaigns far - including the Blades' disallowed goal at Tottenham in the reverse fixture, as well as their 'ghost goal' at Aston Villa in the first game following the restart.
Liverpool get away with one
Liverpool got away with what looked a blatant handball in their crunch clash with Manchester City in November. City burst into a dangerous position in the Reds' box and the ball clearly hit Trent Alexander-Arnold's outstretched arm. The referee waved play on and Liverpool went up the other end and scored in a game-changing moment. The video assistant
referee did not overrule the decision and Liverpool were in front instead of conceding a penalty.
Jan Vertonghen's trip
Spurs were the beneficiaries of one of the most puzzling decisions in their match with Watford. Gerard Deulofeu broke into the box and looked to be tripped by defender Jan Vertonghen. No penalty was given at the time, with the Spaniard
pleading with the referee Chris Kavanagh to check with VAR. He did, but Kavanagh's decision stood.
John Lundstram's big toe
The multi-coloured perpendicular lines are going to be an enduring image of the season, having ruled out plenty of goals for the most marginal offside decisions. There was Roberto Firmino's armpit at Aston Villa and Pedro Neto's
hand at Anfield, but perhaps none were more frustrating than John Lundstram's big toe which saw Sheffield United robbed of a goal at Spurs. A few centimetres of Lundstram's boot were ruled offside as he crossed, from which David McGoldrick scored from a second phase of play.
There was more misery for Sheffield United in the first game back after the coronavirus suspension as they were denied a goal by a technology breakdown, with VAR heavily criticised for not intervening. Oliver Norwood's free-kick was carried over the line by Aston Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland. The Hawk-Eye technology inexplicably did not work as all seven cameras were blocked, meaning referee Michael Oliver did not receive a notification. He allowed play to
continue, which means that VAR could not intervene, despite replays showing the ball had clearly crossed the line.