Marcelo Bielsa casts verdict on VAR as Leeds United prepare for first involvement at Arsenal

Leeds United will be involved in a game with VAR for the first time on Monday evening against Arsenal in the FA Cup

Sunday, 5th January 2020, 12:00 pm
VAR has been in action across the Premier League this season. (Getty)

Marcelo Bielsa has thrown his backing behind the use of VAR saying that technology should be used if it is what referees prefer.

Leeds United will be involved in a fixture involving a video assistant referee for the first time on Monday night in the FA Cup.

The Whites travel to the Emirates to take on Arsenal in the third round of the competition with the Football Association permitting the use of VAR at Premier League stadiums in the third, fourth and fifth rounds.

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The governing body have also said that the technology will be used at every stadium involved in the quarter-final stage before the semi-final and final is held at Wembley later in the year.

Bielsa was asked his thoughts about the VAR following widespread criticism of the system since it's implementation in the Premier League last summer, and conceded that regardless of its use it is a difficult task being a match official.

"Whatever referees prefer. I'm just interested in play," Bielsa said.

"If referees take good decisions or bad decisions with VAR or without, it doesn’t change anything about how we face one match. It’s very difficult to be a referee.

"The other day we watched our last match, where referees are cheated and it’s very difficult to realise this on the pitch.

"So for me, rules and referees are very important in allowing you to play. I think that as referees think it’s better, I am going to accept this."

Bielsa, though, believes that the biggest issue players now face with video technology is how individual referees interpret the rules.

"There is something that confuses the footballer a lot," he continued.

"Because the rules are interpreted and for footballers it's natural to analyse how referees analyse the rules and sometimes there are confusions. So footballers don't know really how referees are going to rule the match.

"After, if the referee ruled the match very strictly, the player is responsible for his excesses. Or if the referee makes the rules more flexible, the player is a bit more exposed as a boy, a fool as he's arguing about something that the referee doesn't measure in the same way.

"So if I push in one corner, for example, and one referee says that it's a penalty, after a player is responsible.

"And after if the same player is pushed by an opponent and the footballers claimed that the referee said nothing after the player said it in front of everyone he is a boy, a fool.

"This is the difficulty that is part of the work of the footballer to try to adapt to it.