Carragher wants VAR scrapped in huge U-turn after ‘disgraceful’ Man Utd decision

Ten Hag questions refereeing decisions as Man Utd lose in Copenhagen

Jamie Carragher has called for VAR to be removed from football after labelling the use of the system in Manchester United’s defeat to FC Copenhagen as a ‘disgrace’. Erik ten Hag’s side fell to a damaging 4-3 loss in Denmark which leaves their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread after throwing away a two-goal lead, having been reduced to 10 men in the first half. And Carragher has become the latest big name to call for the technology to be scrapped after a series of controversial decisions.

Rasmus Hojlund had given the visitors an early two-goal cushion before Marcus Rashford’s red card changed the complexity of the game, with a VAR review concluding that the forward’s accidental stamp on Elias Jelert’s ankle was an act of endangering an opponent.

United were left shell-shocked by the dismissal and conceded twice in first-half stoppage time after Mohamed Elyounoussi struck from close range before another contentious decision saw Harry Maguire penalised for handling inside the penalty area.

Diogo Goncalves scored from the spot, before United were awarded a penalty for another dubious handball against Lukas Lerager in the second half as Bruno Fernandes coolly dispatched the spot-kick. Yet Copenhagen managed to snatch all three points late on after Lerager turned home a cross and 17-year-old Roony Bardghji found the net with an incisive strike on the bounce.

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On the Rashford decision, Carragher questioned the use of VAR to dismiss the England international after the official was shown a still image on the pitchside monitor. He wrote: “No way is that a red card for Rashford! Hate these slow-motion replays and still images that make everything look 10 times worse.”

Referee Donatas Rumsas may have felt he had evened things up when giving United a penalty for an adjudged handball against Lerager. But Carragher made his feelings clear about the decision, using no fewer than 10 cry-laughing emojis to emphasise his point that VAR should be binned.

The former Reds defender wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “The game has gone! Get rid of VAR, that’s a disgrace.”

It marks a huge shift in beliefs from the 45-year-old, who initially felt the use of video technology and its application would benefit modern football.

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“I am probably seen as someone who is pro-VAR in terms of how I have spoken about this at the start of the season and in terms of how I have reacted to things on social media,” he told Sky Sports back in 2019.

“I was never pro-VAR. What it was is that I felt it should have been given a chance and in some ways, I felt I was fighting for VAR because so many people were negative about it from the start. VAR has been brought in to help our game. And when I say our game, it’s not just the players, it is the supporters, the pundits, the owners.

“We have the best game in the world so how can we make it better? How can it move with the times? That’s why I was supporting it. Never stand still. Other sports are doing it.”

But Carragher’s opposition to the controversial video review system has become more prominent in his analysis on Sky Sports and CBS Sports, having also recently blasted decisions made in matches involving Liverpool and Arsenal recently.

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