December 30, 2017 / 9:10 PM / 9 months ago

Lazio coach says VAR is taking the excitement out of the game

MILAN (Reuters) - Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said that the video replay system (VAR) being trialled in Serie A is taking the excitement out of football after his side had a penalty revoked on Saturday.

Soccer Football - Serie A - Inter Milan vs Lazio - San Siro, Milan, Italy - December 30, 2017 Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi reacts REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Inzaghi calculated that VAR decision have cost his side seven points so far this season after their goalless draw at Inter Milan. But he was more worried about the effects it was having on players, coaches and fans.

“My verdict is absolutely negative because it takes the excitement out of football; players don’t hug each other after scoring a goal any more, instead they look straight towards the referee,” he said.

“It takes the excitement away from us and the fans. For me, it’s removing the adrenaline and my enjoyment of football.”

Lazio are also involved in the Europa League this season and Inzaghi said he preferred that competition to Serie A thanks to the absence of the VAR.

“I enjoy the Europa League games more,” he said.

Lazio were awarded a penalty on the hour after Ciro Immobile’s cross hit Inter defender Milan Skriniar on the leg and then arm. However, the referee changed his mind after consulting the VAR, ruling that the it was accidental handball.

Serie A is among several competitions where VAR technology is being trialled before football’s law-making body IFAB decides whether to approve its use on a permanent basis.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has already said he wants to use it at the World Cup and IFAB is expected to make a decision in March.

There have been several cases in Serie A this season where players have scored goals and celebrated only to turn around and find the referee consulting the VAR.

Stadium announcers have also been left red-faced after going through ear-splitting celebratory routines only to see the goal disallowed.

Inzaghi said VAR had also cost his side two points in the 1-1 draw against Fiorentina, and three in the 3-1 defeat by Torino.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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