Roberto De Zerbi gives his verdict on VAR potentially being scrapped from next season… as the Brighton boss slams Premier League referees and gives view on Reece James red card


Roberto De Zerbi has given his opinion on the VAR debate as the likelihood of the technology being removed from the Premier League increases.

Clubs are set to vote on their views of the future of the tool at next month’s AGM in what could be a potentially historic move that has been led by Wolves, who feel they have been hard done by this term.

The Premier League could therefore be set to do battle with some of its members as it looks to fight to prevent a potentially historic collapse of what has been regarded as one of the biggest advancements in football history.

Wolves have broken ranks in a move they believe has the backing of fed-up fans up and down the country.

De Zerbi, meanwhile, who was speaking after his side’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday evening, once again criticising referees operating the technology rather than the technology itself.

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has given his opinion on the potential scrapping of VAR

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has given his opinion on the potential scrapping of VAR

Premier League clubs are set to vote on potentially scrapping the technology from next season

Premier League clubs are set to vote on potentially scrapping the technology from next season

De Zerbi took aim at referees in his rant, singling out Michael Salisbury, who too charge of his side's defeat to Chelsea

De Zerbi took aim at referees in his rant, singling out Michael Salisbury, who too charge of his side’s defeat to Chelsea

‘I think I have so many problems to be a coach that I don’t want to say nothing if it’s not my business anyway,’ he said. ‘We have to speak of the level of the referees, like the level of the coaches and the players.

‘Behind the VAR there are the people and we have to analyse the level of the people. I didn’t like the referee today. Not for the penalty because nothing changes but I didn’t like the personality or the control of the game.’

Michael Salisbury was in charge of the game at the Amex on Wednesday, that saw the Seagulls remain 10th in the league table with the risk of slipping down to 13th on the final day.

He had awarded Chelsea a penalty in the first half when Marc Cucurella was fouled, only to overturn the decision on VAR.

Blues captain Reece James was also sent off in the second half for appearing to kick out Joao Pedro.

De Zerbi, however, leapt to the England man’s defence, aiming another dig at the refereeing team in the process as he claimed his side should have had a penalty of their own.

‘I’m sorry for the red card of James because I think it was a normal reaction, he said. ‘ If you have played football in your life you know a reaction like this can happen but the penalty of Adringra was clear.

‘From the bench it was clear. On TV it’s more clear.’ 

De Zerbi also have his verdict on the red card of Reece James, who was sent off for violent conduct

De Zerbi also have his verdict on the red card of Reece James, who was sent off for violent conduct

The Italian claimed his side should have had a penalty for a potential foul on Simon Adingra

The Italian claimed his side should have had a penalty for a potential foul on Simon Adingra

Premier League sources have said they would oppose the motion to scrap VAR and added they were confident they had enough votes to block it.

They will point to statistics which show an increase in correct decisions from 82 per cent to 96 per cent since the introduction of VAR, and urge clubs to focus on improvements which are set to speed up decision-making. Semi-automated calls on offsides are being introduced, for example. 

Early indications are that clubs will side with the Premier League but use the vote as an opportunity to press for much-needed improvements to what they see as a flawed system. Clubs will lobby for greater investment in VAR systems, specifically to increase decision times. 



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