Wednesday April 18 2018
‘VAR would’ve changed nothing’

UEFA President Alexander Ceferin says VAR will be in the Champions League “one day” but it would have changed “nothing” in Real Madrid-Juventus.

The Bianconeri were eliminated by a last-gasp penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo, with President Andrea Agnelli demanding Video Assistant Referees, feeling Michael Oliver got it wrong.

“The Champions League is like a Ferrari or a Porsche,” Ceferino explained to Gazzetta dello Sport.

“You can’t drive it right away, you need training and testing offline. Everyone has to understand how it works.

“It’s early for VAR, but that doesn’t mean ‘never’. The process is ineluctable, we’ll have it one day in the Champions League, but there’s no hurry.

“I have some worries about the World Cup, where we’ll have referees who have never officiated with VAR. I hope there are no scandals or problems.

“But it’s a unique tournament, it’s easier, just as it’s easier in the league with all Italian or all German referees.

“The Premier League has also postponed it, and in the Champions League it’s different.

“Football is already beautiful now, right? I think there are some people who want to boast of being the first, going down in history. But I don’t care if they say ‘with Ceferin VAR came in to the Champions League’.

“You can’t change the tournament when it’s already in progress. Otherwise someone could say ‘if there was VAR two months ago…’

“Then, excuse me, but what would it have changed in Real Madrid-Juventus? Nothing.

“There are those who saw that incident 20 times, I’ve seen it 50. But still for half it’s a penalty and for the other half it’s not.

“In Manchester City-Liverpool it would have been useful on the disallowed goal, but there are other problems.

“Realistically speaking, in the 2019-2020 season we could have it in the Champions League and at the European Championship.”

Oliver’s decision caused quite a storm, with Gianluigi Buffon highly critical of the referee after the match.

“What he said wasn’t right, he didn’t have to do it. However, I can understand the frustration and disappointment of losing a game on a penalty in the 93rd minute.

“You feel you’ve missed a chance, so I can understand Buffon.

“Andrea Agnelli? I spoke to Andrea right away, and I know that he acted like a gentleman in any case, the UEFA delegate confirmed that.

“He didn’t insult anyone and he wasn’t aggressive. He had the same emotions as Buffon and even though he’s President he couldn’t hide them.

“Pierluigi Collina? He has my total support.”

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