Jamie Carragher has praised the video assistant referee (VAR) system.
Tottenham Hotspur earned a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in the 17th round of the 2023-24 Premier League (PL) at the City Ground in Nottingham, England, at 5 a.m. ET on Saturday. With the three points, Spurs remain fifth in the league.
Despite the win, Spurs lost Bissouma in the match. In the 35th minute of the second half, Bissouma made a rough tackle on Ryan Yates. The referee, unable to see exactly what was happening, called for an on-field review with VAR, and Bissouma was shown a red card for the foul.
Because it was a direct ejection, and because Bisuma had previously been sent off, he will miss the next four games. To add insult to injury, the African Confederation (CAF) Nations Cup kicks off shortly after Bissouma’s suspension, so he won’t be able to play until after the tournament.
It’s a big loss for Spurs. Bissouma has been the backbone of Spurs’ defense this season and has emerged as a key player under Enze Postecoglou. Even recently, Spurs have looked shaky without him. The back-to-back wins have lifted their spirits, and it’s understandable that they’d be worried that his sending-off could derail that momentum.
Carragher’s frustration was palpable. After watching Bissouma’s ejection, Carragher was vocal in his criticism of the VAR. “In that situation, it should have been a red card for sure,” Carragher told Sky Sports in the UK, where he is a pundit, after Bissouma’s sending off. That’s why we have VAR, and it worked to the highest standard.”
Unnecessary fouls have definitely decreased since the introduction of VAR. Even if it happens outside of the referees’ field of vision, the VOR (where the referees reading the VAR are located) calls the referee and play is immediately stopped and an on-field review is conducted. VAR is also used in fouls to determine how hard the tackle was or whether the fouled player’s actions were intentional. Unfortunately for Tottenham, as Carragher says, Bissouma’s sending-off was one of those instances where VAR came into play.