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Tottenham boss Pochettino insists Premier League should delay VAR introduction

00:56 GMT 24/01/2019
Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham 2018
Spurs went 1-0 up in their tie with Chelsea when Harry Kane was retrospectively awarded a penalty, but the Argentine thinks the technology needs work

Mauricio Pochettino believes the Premier League should delay the introduction of VAR despite Tottenham benefiting from technology in their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

Spurs were awarded a penalty after Harry Kane was adjudged to be in an offside position when he was taken out by Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, but retrospective action proved he was onside. 

Kane netted the spot kick to give his side a 1-0 advantage over the Blues, although Spurs will be missing the striker and Son Heung-min when they take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday. 

Speaking to reporters ahead of the second leg, Pochettino said: “It is a good idea to delay [VAR’s introduction to the Premier League] because if we don’t have all the information or don’t know how it will work or how we can better develop the system, it is better to stop for one year or more.

“Nobody in Europe is happy with VAR and what worries me is that there is going to be a situation where football starts to annoy the fans. If you stop for five minutes for a decision, I don’t know how they are going to behave.

“Goal-line technology is the best but, after that, it is about how the referee perceives things. The emotion is not going to be there, the feelings and the tension. Maybe technically it is a handball but we know very well when it is intentional and only the referee and the players around can decide that. On the video, you cannot perceive that.”

Pochettino previously criticised VAR following heavy intervention from the technology in Spurs' FA Cup fifth round replay at Rochdale last season.

The top flight side came out 6-1 winners on that occasion, but Pochettino said after that if supporters in Spain and Italy were impatient with VAR then Premier League fans would not cope with it's introduction.

Recalling those comments, Pochettino added on Wednesday: “That’s because the game in England is more dynamic. If you compare to Spain or Italy, the ball is in play more in England. Fans in this country are used to play, transition, corner, goal, boom. It is more instant.

“In the Rochdale replay there was an incident in the first half that took forever to decide. There were 10,000 less fans after half-time. That situation was difficult to accept and I’m not sure if you get a benefit. Those who are pro‑VAR say the technology will help but football is also about mistakes – players, managers and referees.

“I am telling the people responsible that we need information [on why and when VAR should be used] because if we don’t know, it is going to be a big problem.”