News Live Scores
Süper Lig

'It's like a comedy show' – Podolski slams VAR & 'atmosphere of chaos' in Turkish football

17:12 GMT 07/03/2021
Podolski 2020
The World Cup winner arrived in the country from Japan in January last year, but feels the game there is held back by the circus surrounding referees

Lukas Podolski has slammed how the VAR system is handled in Turkish football, describing it as a "comedy show" that lends an "atmosphere of chaos" to the discourse around the game.

The World Cup winner and former Germany international moved back to Europe from J1 League side Vissel Kobe last year, penning a one-and-a-half year deal at Antalyaspor in January 2020.

But the veteran striker has been left unimpressed with how the relationship between players, managers and fans with referees has been distorted by the introduction of the video referal system.

What has Podolski said?

Speaking in the wake of his side holding Fenerbahce to a 1-1 draw in the Super Lig, the 35-year-old blasted post-match coverage of games, indicating that VAR has incited refereeing as a focal flashpoint for discussion rather than overall performance.

"The performance of the players or the teams is not taken into consideration," Podolski told FANATIK . "After the Fenerbahce match, I saw very few comments on Antalya's good game.

"[It's referees and decisions on the agenda every week. This is not beneficial for Turkish football. Referees can mistakes. We can mistakes.

"The behavior of people to each other, the statements of the managers, there is always an atmosphere of chaos. This is not good.

"We play football for an average of 60 minutes on the field, the game stops too much. What one person calls penalty, the other does not say penalty.

"VAR has been introduced to make decisions faster. But after VAR, the referees discuss more. Everyone is shouting at each other. It's like a comedy show. "

How has VAR fared?

The video assistant referee system first caught widespread public attention after it was used in the World Cup at Russia 2018, and is now utilised by a majority of top-flight leagues around the world.

But its implementation has remained controversial, with criticism typically aimed at the inconsistent distribution of decisions between matches.

The handball and offside rules have in particular proven bones of contention with managers, players and fans since the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

Further reading