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Tottenham Hotspur's Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho reacts during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on February 22 2020. AFP
Tottenham Hotspur's Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho reacts during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on February 22 2020. AFP

LONDON: The Premier League’s VAR system was back in the spotlight at Chelsea when officials reportedly said they had made a mistake by not recommending a red card for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovani Lo Celso in the Premier League game.

The Argentine appeared to stamp on Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s shin as Spurs lost 2-1 in a battle for fourth place. But after a check for possible violent conduct by the video-assisted officials, Lo Celso escaped without censure.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who on Monday criticised a VAR decision not to send off Manchester United’s England defender Harry Maguire for planting his foot in the groin of Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi, held his head in disbelief.

As the game continued, a television presenter said officials at the VAR offices in Stockley Park, a few miles away from Stamford Bridge in West London, had admitted their error.

“We have been speaking to Stockley Park who have admitted they got the decision wrong and Lo Celso should have been sent off,” Jake Humphrey, who works for BT Sport, said on Twitter.

After the game, Lampard said the incident represented Just “another huge question mark” for VAR which was introduced to the Premier League this season.

“I was just waiting for the red card to be shown,” he said. “It’s just not good enough. Saying afterwards they made a mistake is not good enough. They had... a couple of minutes they took to try and get it right.”

Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said his team had been on the wrong end of similar decisions by VAR not to give red cards to opposing players in other games this season.

“Why they didn’t say (that) when they made the mistake against Liverpool and against Watford?” former Chelsea boss Mourinho asked. “I hope the noise is exactly the same.”

Premier League clubs will consider making changes to the way VAR reviews are used from next season, including the scant use by on-field referees of pitch-side monitors to review incidents tehemselves, the league’s chief executive Richard Masters said earlier this month.

Most of the controversy about the system has related to close offside calls often involving goals that are ruled out when an attacker is a few millimetres ahead of a defender.

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