The 32: Rob Lee on the most annoying part of VAR at the World Cup

News Editor
Yahoo Sport UK

Premier League legend Rob Lee told ‘The 32’ he doesn’t feel the World Cup has got VAR ‘quite right’ as the technology continues to divide opinion.

Lee, 52, speaking as guest on Yahoo’s daily World Cup show, also hit out at players who make ‘VAR appeals’ by gesturing to the referee after controversial incidents.

VAR (video assistant referee) has been a huge talking point during the tournament, having already helped award France a penalty against Australia before disallowing an equaliser for Iran v Spain.

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Rob Lee describing his biggest annoyance with VAR. (Yahoo/Getty)
Rob Lee describing his biggest annoyance with VAR. (Yahoo/Getty)
VAR comes into play during Russia’s game with Egypt in Group A. (Getty)
VAR comes into play during Russia’s game with Egypt in Group A. (Getty)

Former Newcastle and England midfielder Lee, who went to France ’98 with his country, said: ‘I’m not a fan of VAR, I don’t think we’ve got it quite right yet.

‘Goal line technology, I’m all for – I think it’s fantastic. But football is a contact sport, and we’ve had nearly 10 penalties already.

‘I like seeing players take people on, and I like seeing great football. I don’t want to see all games decided on a penalty.’


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VAR has divided fans at the World Cup, with some claiming it disrupts the flow of the game, while others insist it’s a necessary part of modern football.

Lee added: ‘If we looked at every single corner and free kick, there’s jostling going on and pulling going on, you’d give a penalty every time with VAR.

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‘I used to hate players who (appealed for the referee to give a card), now you’ve got players doing this (the ‘VAR’ signal). It’s so annoying!’

Lee also singled out Cristiano Ronaldo as ‘one of the best ever’ after his winner v Morocco, and believes the Real Madrid star ‘could play until he’s 40’.


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