UEFA Release Rare Footage Of Referees And VAR Officials Conversing On Controversial Penalty Calls
UEFA have released rare footage of referees and VAR officials in conversations over big decisions.
Following on from refs from the A-League being mic'd up, the European football governing body have put together a documentary called 'Man in the Middle' during which viewers are given unprecedented access and insight to referees at the top level.
Episode one has been uploaded on UEFA.tv and fans a first-hand look at how two of the Champions League's most controversial penalties were given in the 2018/19 campaign.
The first came less than a minute into the 2019 Champions League final in Madrid when Moussa Sissoko was rather harshly deemed to have handled the ball after Sadio Mane fired the ball at him metres away inside the area.
:clapper: Episode one of addresses some of the most high-profile VAR decisions since its #UCL introduction in early 2019.- UEFA (@UEFA) November 17, 2020
:speaking_head:️ Hear the conversations that took place and what the referees themselves think now... pic.twitter.com/LUxStXay0F
There's not much the Frenchman could have done but Slovenian Damir Skomina consulted with his colleagues via earpiece and they decided it was "100 per cent correct to give a penalty".
A possible offside check was complete and Mo Salah smashed in the penalty to set Liverpool on their way to a sixth European Cup triumph.
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A few rounds earlier in the round of 16, Manchester United were given a dramatic last-gasp penalty in a memorable 3-1 win in Paris and fascinating footage of how that call from Skomina was made has come to light.
This time the referee was recommended to head over to the screen and take a look at PSG's Presnel Kimpembe blocking Diogo Dalot's shot with his arm and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to be told to sit down as he carefully watched the replay.
"Take a seat. This is pressure!" was the line heard.
A penalty was awarded and it was duly dispatched by Marcus Rashford, who sent United into the quarter finals courtesy of the last kick of the game.
A feature of the documentary is also how the referees communicate with the players. One such instance sees Bjorn Kuipers tell Lionel Messi to "show some respect" during Barcelona's 3-0 win over Liverpool at the Nou Camp.
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