Crowd should not have seen Ireland's VAR incident, Uefa confirm

Big-screen replays of potential checks are banned to avoid pressure on refs. 
Crowd should not have seen Ireland's VAR incident, Uefa confirm

VIDEO NASTY: Referee Rade Obrenovic does a VAR check before awarding a penalty to Ireland against Armenia.

Replays of the handball incident which led to Ireland scraping past Armenia on Tuesday should not have been shown on the stadium screen, Uefa have confirmed.

Footage of Video Assisted Referees (VAR) decisions is outlawed inside venues by the European governing body, an attempt to avoid the referee feeling pressurised by the home crowd.

Instead, the 41,000 fans inside Lansdowne Road got to witness the reruns of Dara O’Shea’s shot striking the arm of Artak Dashyan simultaneously to referee Rade Obrenović watching through his sideline monitor.

Loud cheers erupted around the stands when the Slovenian official got his first sight of the replay and he didn’t take long to award the penalty, coolly converted by Robbie Brady to rescue a 3-2 victory.

“VAR incidents shall not be shown on screens,” Uefa said in a brief statement.

An oversight has been blamed for the situation arising whereby the match broadcaster provided the feed to the staff controlling the screen content.

It is understood the match delegate, Artur Gaidels from Latvia, has included the error in his overall report submitted to Uefa and it remains to be seen if there will be repercussions. Uefa have yet to comment on potential sanctions.

Regardless of whether concealing the replay from fans would have made a difference to influencing the referee, Armenia will be further incensed by this news.

They were adamant the officials erred in awarding the corner that led to the block and subsequently had two players sent-off as their comeback from two goals down fell asunder.

The defeat also cost Joaquín Caparrós his job, with the Armenian federation confirming on Thursday that they wouldn’t be renewing the Spaniard’s contract for the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

The journeyman was livid at the nature of their defeat in Dublin, compounding a previous injustice suffered during a Euro 2012 qualifier at the same venue.

On that occasion, goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky was sent off for handball outside the box when it was obvious the ball struck his chest.

“I don’t know why things like this always happen against Ireland,” sighed Caparrós in his post-match musings.

“As a man responsible for Armenian history, I know what happened before. Roman Berezovsky is now our goalkeeping coach.

“When it happens twice, you have to think about it.” Caparrós will also have his win over Ireland in June to cherish as his two-and-a-half year reign concludes.

Under his stewardship, the team from the Caucuses racked up a nine-game unbeaten streak, the longest in their history, as they secured promotion to Ireland’s League B section.

Losing his talisman and captain, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, to retirement last March was a major blow and they had the worst defensive record of any of the 16 teams in League B despite pushing Stephen Kenny’s Ireland in both meetings.

“The management of the Football Federation of Armenia, the staff that worked with Joaquín Caparrós once again express their deep gratitude to the Spanish specialist for his work and wish him new success in his future career,” the Armenian Football Federation said about the decision not to renew his contract.

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