“I think the angle the ref sees it you can say it’s a handball, but then surely the VAR would get involved, and it would take you 30 seconds to jog over and have a look at this angle we’ve just seen, and then I think he’s got to give the goal.”
When questioned how many angles VAR get to look at, host Mark Chapman explained “all of them” to which Benali claimed there was one angle that suggested the goal should have been given: “I think there’s three or four [angles] that could easily back up Stuart Atwell’s original decision, and one that I would say that is almost behind the goal from the left-hand post as you’re looking at it from behind, that is the one you would say VAR need to say go and look at it.”
Given further suggested that the VAR should have told Stuart Atwell to pause while he went to look at another angle of the incident. “I think Franny [Benali] is speaking sense after all,” he said. “He’s seen a good angle there. But look, it is a difficult job for the referee, the angle he’s at he maybe thinks it’s a handball, but there’s no reason why the VAR can’t get in his ear and go ‘it’ll only take 30, maybe 60 seconds, just have a look at this angle Stuart because you might have got this wrong.’ They should get that right between them – it’s not a handball, it should be a goal.”
Southampton had their own VAR controversy with 15 minutes remaining as Adam Armstrong thought he had equalised, but he too felt the wrath of the officials at Stockley Park when he was deemed to have also handballed, much to the frustration of the home fans.