VAR at the centre of controversy AGAIN after Areola handball

The controversy surrounding VAR was at the forefront of the conversation once again during last night’s relegation six-pointer between Fulham and Burnley.

In terms of storylines within English football, the COVID-19 pandemic and the European Super League have been central themes throughout the last twelve months. However, not far behind those two subjects resides the always divisive VAR system.

Areola breathes a sigh of relief

From offsides being given due to an armpit, to bizarre red cards, this season has been packed with head-scratching decisions.

Last night was no different. With Burnley on their way to a 2-0 win over Fulham that would relegate Scott Parker’s men, the Cottagers were handed a small lifeline when Alphonse Areola avoided a red card despite handling the ball outside of the box.

With Matej Vydra advancing on goal and Areola sprinting out to stop him, the ball quite clearly collides with the goalkeeper’s forearm – preventing the attack from progressing.

The keeper managed to avoid a red as apparently, a Fulham defender could have covered the situation, which if you watch the clip, seems a massive stretch.

Fans and pundits alike would usually be up in arms about such a decision, but the issue is that VAR’s problems are so frequent now that it’s become generally exhausting.

There’s set to be some kind of reform over the summer ahead of the new Premier League season but in totality, there are so many questions that have yet to be answered.

The system itself can be incredibly precise with regards to the decisions that are made, however, it all comes down to the final perspective of the officials and the referee on the pitch. With so many grey areas remaining in the rule book, the issues are constant.

Featured image credit: Getty