October 19, 2019 / 6:29 PM / a month ago

VAR is very subjective, says Watford's Sanchez Flores

LONDON (Reuters) - Watford coach Quique Sanchez Flores said he is losing his faith in VAR as a force for good in the game after two decisive decisions went against his side in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur, leaving them still without a win this season.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Watford v Sheffield United - Vicarage Road, Watford, Britain - October 5, 2019 Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores gestures Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

The visitors got off to a flying start when Abdoulaye Doucoure scored in the sixth minute and they could have been awarded a penalty when Gerard Deulofeu was tripped by Jan Vertonghen.

Dele Alli denied Watford a first win in nine games with a late strike that was initially ruled out for handball then awarded after a VAR review, even though Harry Kane appeared to push defender Christian Kabasele in the build-up.

The moment was also shrouded in confusion when the screens at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium at first said “No Goal”, before correcting itself to show the goal had been awarded.

“I was thinking VAR is something objective but I’m starting to think it’s very subjective,” Sanchez Flores told a news conference.

“I think it’s a foul from Kane on Kabasele, he pushed him with his hands. I think we are losing something. It’s very weird, you think VAR is helping football but then it’s not.”

Hawk-Eye Innovations, the company which provides the VAR technology, promised to work with officials and the Premier League to avoid more problems.

“Hawk-Eye apologises to Spurs and Watford fans for the confusion caused,” it said in a statement on Twitter.

“We are working together with the Professional Game Match Officials Board and the Premier League to understand the root cause of this problem and propose a series of measures to ensure it won’t happen again.”

Sanchez Flores was also asked about Deulofeu’s appeal for a penalty.

“It’s a penalty, I have no idea (why it wasn’t given),” he said

The Spaniard rued the fact that his side, who remain bottom of the table, could not take all the points after a mature display against last season’s Champions League finalists.

“I think we deserved the three points because in the end we didn’t concede very clear chances,” he added.

“It’s difficult to come here and control the game. All we could do was defend well and limit the opponent and that’s what we did.”

Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino said the mistake on the VAR screen had nothing to do with his club and was a Premier League issue.

He also said the way his side managed to salvage a point might help steer them back on course after a rotten run, including a 7-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich and a 3-0 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion.

“After Bayern our confidence was on the floor. It was so important the way we achieved the point in the end, we kept fighting,” Pochettino said.

“I hope this is the first step we need to build our confidence again.”

Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond

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