Darmstadt, Germany (dpa) – Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez had another goal disallowed by the video assistant referee (VAR) on Monday night – and he’s had enough of football’s controversial new technology.
Gomez blew his top in a Sky interview after VAR ruled out for a hairline offside decision what would have been a 66th-minute winner in his side’s 1-1 second-tier draw against Darmstadt.
“Poeple come to the stadium because they want to see goals,” the 34-year-old former German international said. “And if we chalk them off every time because of two centimetres – it’s a joke!”
It was no consolation for Gomez that the assistant referee had raised his flag and that VAR had simply confirmed his decision. The striker said that, without VAR, decisions even themselves out but that the current situation was “bullshit.”
He even suggested that VAR was being used by referees to punish him for years of backchat. “Maybe it’s payback for the referees that sit there in the basement [monitoring video playback] for all the 20 years that I had a go at them,” Gomez said. “I’m happy that, for me, this won’t go on for another five years because it’s no fun at all.”
Had Gomez’s goal stood, Stuttgart – relegated from the Bundesliga last year – would have gone into the winter break second in the league.
The technology was introduced in Germany’s top two tiers last season and is in use in some, but not all, leagues across Europe, as well as in the Champions League.
It has been beset by criticism for its perceived inconsistency, for slowing down the game and for its alleged removal of the spontaneous joy of goal celebrations.