Home » ARTICLES » “Looks like a great tackle” – PGMOL release VAR audio of Cristian Romero red card in Tottenham’s loss vs Chelsea

“Looks like a great tackle” – PGMOL release VAR audio of Cristian Romero red card in Tottenham’s loss vs Chelsea

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PGMOL release VAR audio of Cristian Romero red card in Tottenham’s loss vs Chelsea

From a Tottenham perspective, the recent 4-1 loss against Chelsea, marked by the controversial red card of Cristian Romero, raises significant points of discussion.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) released the VAR audio from the incident, shedding light on the decision-making process that led to Romero’s dismissal and a subsequent penalty for Chelsea.

This event adds another layer to the often-contentious relationship between football clubs and officiating decisions, particularly in the high-stakes environment of the Premier League. This season, it has just been that much more significant.

Referee Michael Oliver shows a red card to Tottenham Hotspur's Cristian Romero. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Referee Michael Oliver shows a red card to Tottenham Hotspur’s Cristian Romero. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

In the match, Tottenham initially took the lead, but the dynamic shifted dramatically following Romero’s red card for a tackle on Chelsea’s Enzo Fernandez. At first glance, the challenge appeared clean, with one official even remarking, “That looks like a great tackle”

However, upon review in slow motion, the tackle was deemed reckless and worthy of a red card. PGMOL Chief Howard Webb later provided an explanation of the decision. He stressed that while Romero did get the ball, the nature of his follow-through endangered the safety of Fernandez.

Webb emphasized that simply playing the ball does not allow a player to follow through in a dangerous manner. He concluded that the use of VAR in this instance was excellent, as it helped identify an incident that was not easy to spot in real time.

Destiny Udogie of Tottenham Hotspur has been a standout performer this season.
Destiny Udogie of Tottenham Hotspur has been a standout performer this season. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Tottenham, already grappling with injuries and suspensions, faced additional challenges with the suspension of Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie. These incidents highlight the thin line officials must walk in making game-changing decisions.

The VAR system is intended to ensure fairness and accuracy, but it also brings to light the complexities and subjectivities inherent in football officiating. The release of the VAR audio is a step towards transparency in football officiating, providing fans and teams alike a glimpse into the decision-making process.

The use of slow-motion replays in VAR reviews can sometimes cast a different light on incidents that, in real-time, might seem innocuous or less severe.

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The use of slow-motion replays in VAR reviews can sometimes cast a different light on incidents that, in real-time, might seem innocuous or less severe. VAR is not reliable, but we must hold our hands up and agree that it made the right decision this time, even if it was not in our favour.

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