Wolves are told an eager ITV cameraman was to blame for why their winning goal in against Liverpool in the FA Cup was disallowed, with officials claiming the VAR camera was zoomed in too far to spot whether the goal was offside or not
- Wolves drew 2-2 with Liverpool in their FA Cup third round clash last week
- Toti Gomes had a late would-be winner disallowed late on for offside
- The decision was incorrect and could not be adequately reviewed by VAR
- Officials have blamed the mistake on a cameraman zooming in too far
Top-flight officials blame an over-eager cameraman for Wolves’ disallowed FA Cup winner instead of a lack of VAR cameras.
Wolves were incensed when VAR Mike Dean was unable to review Toti’s late goal in the 2-2 draw at Anfield last week because Matheus Nunes was not picked up by any of the ITV cameras used for VAR.
Furious head coach Julen Lopetegui held a 90-minute meeting with new referees chief Howard Webb to discuss the decisions.
Wolves were denied a late winner against Liverpool in the FA Cup after a VAR mistake
Toti’s goal was chalked off based on an erroneous decision that was upheld by the replays
It was revealed last week that the FA Cup matches, broadcast on ITV and BBC, have used fewer cameras than Sky Sports use for Premier League games.
Referees body PGMOL and the broadcasters insist there were enough cameras to avoid the blind spot that occurred when Nunes received the ball back after taking a corner and claim many of those used by Sky at Premier League games are not used by VAR, such as dug-out cameras.
Footage released after the game appeared to show Nunes was not offside, including an overhead tactical camera which was not calibrated for VAR offside lines.
Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui held a 90 minute meeting with officials after the match
It is understood there is frustration among officials that they and VAR bore the brunt of criticism, with the Wolves Trust only just stopping short of accusing officials of corruption on social media.
Officials say the cameraman focused on the 18-yard line zoomed in too far and created the blind spot near the corner flag.
ITV sources insisted it was common practice for match directors to request that the 18-yard camera zoom in at corners to capture any infringements in the penalty area, such as shirt pulling. They argue such incidents occur more frequently than the sort of goal that was disallowed.
Cameras which were not calibrated for VAR in the game show the goal should have stood
The replay will be shown on BBC 1 and it is expected the broadcaster will take no extraordinary measures to use more cameras to avoid similar controversies.
Yet it is remarkable that an entire VAR system can be rendered useless on the off-chance a camera zooms in slightly too far, leading to further calls for the introduction of semi-automatic offsides.
The limb-tracking technology trialled in the Champions League and the World Cup plots multiple positions on every player in real time and removes the need to draw offside lines.
Its use is set to be discussed at the AGM of football’s lawmakers IFAB this week.