The company responsible for the use of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology has issued an apology for the controversy in Huddersfield Town’s Fifth-Round FA Cup clash with Manchester United.
The system was heavily criticised over the weekend when Juan Mata had a goal disallowed, having been caught narrowly offside.
Referee Kevin Friend had awarded a goal until VAR’s lengthy intervention while those viewing on BT Sport were shown images of Mata’s positioning amid wonky lines that created further confusion surrounding the decision.
Hawk-Eye, the company responsible for providing the technology used within VAR, has since explained a technical error was responsible for the fact the lines shown were not straight.
The company also remains adamant match officials were given straight lines to make their decisions with, and not the same ones shown to the television audience.
A statement read: “A technical issue led to an incorrect graphic being provided by Hawk-Eye to BT Sport on Saturday night.
“To confirm, the VAR saw the correct image with the correct lines to make the decision. This was a case of the wrong image being provided to the broadcaster and we apologise.”
Despite the negative reaction to Saturday evening’s fixture in their cup competition, the Football Association remains satisfied with VAR’s contribution since its introduction in January, and recognises it would initially prove difficult to perfect.
It has long been accepted that in the case of offside, the benefit of any doubt would go to the attacking team, but even though Mata was shown to be only fractionally off and despite criticism of the decision, the FA is also satisfied that it should have been disallowed.
United manager Jose Mourinho spoke of his support for VAR, post-match, while his Huddersfield counterpart David Wagner spoke of his belief it “kills the emotion of the game”.