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VAR use never seen before technology in football to rule out Belgium equaliser at Euros, fans are baffled

VAR use never seen before technology in football to rule out Belgium equaliser at Euros, fans are baffled

Romelu Lukaku saw a goal ruled out with the help of brand-new technology

Belgium had an equaliser ruled out against Slovakia with the help of new technology at Euro 2024 that hasn't been seen before in the Premier League.

Slovakia recorded a historic victory in their opening group game at the tournament with Belgium unable to comeback after an early goal from Ivan Schranz following a huge mistake from Woet Faes.

Their win sparked mass celebrations on the pitch at full-time in the biggest shock of the competition so far.

Belgium twice had the ball in the back of the net through Romelu Lukaku but VAR intervened both times to rule out his strikes.

The Chelsea forward was adjudged to be in an offside position from Amadou Onana's header in a relatively straightforward decision but his second disallowed strike was a cause of controversy.

Belgium introduced RB Leipzig forward Lois Openda off the bench and the forward was penalised for a handball in the build-up to Lukaku putting the ball in the back of the net, with VAR using brand-new technology to come to their conclusion.

The official Euro 2024 match ball made by Adidas has a chip in the centre that provides new insight into the ball's movement and the system was able to detect that Openda's hand had indeed made contact with the ball.

It is an equivalent of the 'snickometer' technology which is currently used in cricket and is sensitive enough to determine whether the ball made contact with a hand en route to a goal or whether a player had strayed into an offside position at the exact moment a ball was kicked.

The graphic shows the external force in the form of a 'heartbeat' on the screen and showcased Openda's hand had touched the ball.

The new technology at Euro 2024 showed Openda handled the ball (ITV)
The new technology at Euro 2024 showed Openda handled the ball (ITV)

After a VAR check at the monitor, referee Umut Meler disallowed the strike which allowed Slovakia to hang on for a huge three points.

Fans were appalled at the decision and believe the officials wrongly ruled out the goal, suggesting the contact was accidental and not significant enough.

One fan said: "The game is actually gone man. That VAR call is an absolute disgrace."

Another added: "VAR killing football. Adding a snickometer does not belong in the sport."

A third said: "Handball should only be given when there's major deflection or change of trajectory of the ball, at that point there is absolutely no need of a snickometer."

However, some supporters argued the decision was right one and it was made quickly.

They said: "It’s like cricket, I don't mind if it’s quick and gets the right decision, which it did."

Belgium will need results against both Romania and Ukraine in their final group games in order to reach the knockout stages.

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: Euro 2024, Belgium, VAR, Fan Reactions