17 April at 23:00
Cuneyt Cakir’s decision to confirm Fernando Llorente’s goal in Manchester City-Tottenham has sparked huge debate already and more will come after the end of the game at the Etihad.
Llorente headed in a left corner kick of Kieran Trippier in the 73′ minute but seemed to have touched the ball with his hand before.
Massimiliano Irrati, the Italian referee who took control of the VAR role for tonight’s Champions League tie and who is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading authorities for VAR, “called” Cakir and advised him to check the action again.
Cakir decided to confirm the goal and there could be two possible reasons behind it.
1. VAR can’t disallow the goal unless there is a ‘clear mistake’ of the referee and even after watching the action for long-time it’s hard to spot if the player first touches the ball with his elbow or with his hip.
2. Cakir thought Llorente didn’t took any advantage from touching the ball with his hand as it was attached to the body.
But VAR took the main stage at the Etihad Stadium also in the 93rd minute when a goal of Raheem Sterling was disallowed after a check at the monitor. Aguero, who assisted the Englishman, was offside when he received the ball from Bernardo Silva and City were rightfully denied the goal that could have allow them to qualify for the semi-finals.