Spectators of the FA Cup tie between Manchester United and Huddersfield Town were treated to a weird spectacle. The game employed the VAR system, and one decision made by it could have strong implications.
During the 45th minute, Juan Mata was able to make good of a brilliant Ashley Young ball and saw it through to the back of the net in brilliant fashion in a move that ought to have seen United go 2-0 up.
However, that wasn’t to be. Referee Neil Swarbrick had to refer the decision to the VAR, and much to United’s surprise, Mata was found to be offside and the goal was disallowed.
However, the decision was by no means a harmonious one, as Twitter was riddled with criticism regarding it. Much deliberation and analysis seemed to show that the Spaniard was played onside at the last instance.
As of such, Twitter showed no mercy to the system, and jokes and arguments alike flowed plenty.
But what is of surprise is that a technique that was designed to make things smoother and more credible in the game has failed in a relatively simple task. What does this mean for the future of VAR?
Regardless, the sight of a football referee doing the hand gestures one normally associates with cricket is something that fans will have to quickly get used to if they are to keep up with the times.