London - Crystal
Palace manager Roy Hodgson praised the video
assistant referee (VAR) system after its debut in English competitive football
following initial confusion around Brighton's winning goal.
Murray scored a late winner in the home side's 2-1 FA Cup third-round defeat of
Palace on Monday but, with suggestions of handball, there was confusion among
players, fans at the ground and TV viewers over whether VAR had had any influence
on the decision.
According to Hodgson
and Brighton manager Chris Hughton, match referee Andre Marriner had been in
contact with fellow official Neil Swarbrick, working with VAR from a London
studio, about the goal.
That Marriner did not
indicate as such or use the pitchside VAR monitors contributed to the
confusion, and Hodgson said: "We had suspicions. The people close to it
seemed to be incensed, and from our angle it looks as if he's guided the ball
in with his arm.
"You've got to
congratulate the system: when you watch it lots of times like they've been able
to do, from different angles, it would have been very harsh (to disallow it).
"It was a genuine
goal, and the referee was helped by the fact he had Swarbrick in the VAR studio
making a judgement that'd help him out, so I have no complaints."
Hughton said he was
"under the impression that VAR was used. That's what I am led to believe:
that it was used and there was not a decision to be made. At the time I wasn't
aware some thought it was handball."
The VAR system is
currently being trialled in Italy and Germany and was employed for the first
time in an official game in Britain during the international friendly between
England and Germany in November, when it was not called on.
Criticised by some
fans for slowing the game down, it is used for "clear and obvious
errors" relating to goals, penalty decisions, straight red cards or
mistaken identity for red or yellow cards.
The VAR automatically
checks every relevant incident and informs the referee if necessary. The
referee has the power to change the original decision based on new information
provided by the VAR or watch a replay on the side of the pitch.
Marriner did not feel
the need to consult the pitch side monitor after Murray's goal as he felt it
was legitimate. The system allows for dialogue between the on-pitch referee and
the VAR without a formal review.
Former England striker
Gary Lineker tweeted: "So VAR so good."
But former Palace
forward Mark Bright said the referee should have considered the incident more
"The debate in
the boardroom is did the ball or did it not touch Glenn Murray's arm before it
went into the net?" he tweeted.
Obviously missed? Should have been viewed #VAR."