Virgil van Dijk comment hit nail on head as Anthony Taylor told he made VAR error by ex-colleague

Virgil van Dijk interacts with Anthony Taylor at Euro 2024.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/Getty Images)

It didn't go unnoticed at Euro 2024 that the longest VAR decision was made by an English group of referees. And the controversy involving Denzel Dumfries being called offside against France impacted Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk was left furious with the decision both on the field and during his post-match interview. "We scored a goal that is a fair goal," he said. "He had no chance to get into that corner. But yeah, the English referee decided to disallow it."

The fact that Van Dijk felt the need to specify the 'English' referee spoke volumes about the general feeling towards the officiating in the Premier League. At the moment, there is simply a level of ill-feeling that needs to be addressed.

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"VAR is here to stay and it is going nowhere; the problem I have is the inconsistency," former Premier League referee Mark Halsey exclusively tells on behalf of Poker Sites.

"In UEFA competitions and the World Cup, it works fantastically well because of the leadership and direction of Roberto Rosetti. That's why we see it work so well in the Champions League and why we're seeing it work so well in the Euros.

"It didn't work so well in the French and Netherlands game — an English official — but it is very subjective. I think the goal should have been given — Law 11, offside, being in an offside position is not an offense in itself. Was Dumfries interfering with the line of vision of the goalkeeper? No, he wasn't. I was a goalkeeper and he was never going to be able to commit to making a save.

"Then you have got to ask about interfering. Did Dumfries impact the goalkeeper being able to make a challenge or a save? For me, looking at the law, you have to say no. The goal should have been given."

Van Dijk's fume stemmed mainly from the fact that he felt the goal, which could have seen the Netherlands progress into the knockout phase as a group winner, should have stood. But there is also an issue with the speed at which VAR decisions are taken.

"I've not seen Van Dijk's interview but for me, the goal should have been given," Halsey continued. "It was nearly three minutes and that's the longest VAR check we've seen so far at the Euros.

"Stuart Attwell should have recommended that Anthony Taylor went to the monitor for a review. Adam Nunn, the assistant on that side, cannot see how far Dumfries was from the goalkeeper. Had they gone over and looked at that, I think the goal would have been given.

"In the Premier League, we've had so many inconsistencies and VAR hasn't worked very well since its implementation when Mike Riley was in charge, because he didn't follow the IFAB protocol. He had the VARs making the decisions and not the referees. The referee has to make the final decision by going to the monitor.

"We see so many decisions. One game, we see a challenge in the box and think 'That's a bit subjective' and all of a sudden, you get a review. That same challenge the next day, there is no review, so referees are re-refereeing games to their own satisfaction. That's not what it's there for; it's there for the clear and obvious."