Nations League opener blighted by VAR incident
A penalty to Portugal suddenly turned into a penalty for opponents Switzerland - after an extraordinary incident involving the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) system at the Nations League in Porto yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Portugal were 1-0 up early in the second half when Swiss midfielder Steven Zuber, running onto a through-ball from Xherdan Shaqiri, went down under a challenge from Nelson Semedo and appealed for a penalty.
Play continued, Portugal then went straight down the other end and were awarded a penalty for a foul on Bernardo Silva.
Amid furious Swiss protests, referee Felix Brych, after consulting the video assistant, then decided to review the Swiss incident on the pitch-side monitor and awarded them the spot-kick which Ricardo Rodriguez scored. Portugal eventually won the tie 3-1.
It was similar to an incident in a Serie A match this season, when a goal for Spal became a penalty for their opponents Fiorentina, reported Reuters.
Meanwhile, English Premier League clubs voted yesterday to allow replays of incidents reviewed by VAR to be shown on big screens in stadiums.
"If the VAR believes there is a definitive video-clip which helps explain an overturned decision to fans, it will be broadcast on giant screens," the EPL said in a statement.
However, Sky Sports reported that Manchester United and Liverpool will be the only clubs in the league who will be unable to show VAR replays to fans as Old Trafford and Anfield do not have big screens.
VAR has already been in use in other top European leagues such as Germany's Bundesliga and Spain's La Liga. But replays have never been shown to the supporters inside the stadium, leaving them in the dark while referees take a closer look.