Belfast Telegraph

VAR is removing charm from football – Denmark boss Age Hareide

Australia sealed a World Cup draw against Denmark as video assistant referee aided a penalty decision in the Group C stalemate.

Denmark coach Age Hareide had no complaints over the award of a VAR-assisted penalty to Group C opponents Australia on Thursday – but believes the technology is removing the “charm” from the World Cup.

The two sides had to settle for a share of the spoils as the use of VAR again took centre-stage at the Samara Arena.

Christian Eriksen had put Denmark ahead with a superbly-taken strike, only for Mile Jedinak to level from the penalty spot and secure a 1-1 draw.

Both nations can still advance into the knockout stages with a final game remaining in a group which has been dominated by video assistant decisions.

Jedinak converted from 12 yards after VAR helped Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz adjudge that Yussuf Poulsen had handled in the box.

Peru missed a VAR-awarded penalty against the Danes in their first game, while Australia will feel justice has been served after they conceded a debatable penalty following video replays in the loss to France.

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Hareide is not convinced by VAR so far at the World Cup. (Brian Lawless/PA)

Hareide did not dispute the decision of Lahoz to point to the spot after reviewing the first-half incident but feels VAR is having a negative impact on the game.

“I do believe it was a penalty but the whole issue with VAR is that there are people somewhere in Russia deciding to look at this situation because it looks like a penalty,” he told a press conference.

“That is okay but there were other situations in the match where they should have stopped it to look at what actually happened but they are not doing that, so who decides? Is it the referee on the pitch or someone watching in a dark room somewhere else?

“To me, it was probably correct but it does remove a bit of the charm of football to have such a precise system.

“Goal-line technology is okay but when it is so detailed, we know how tough football is, it has to be a very clear situation and I don’t know how it will work out for football in the long run.”

Eriksen struck with a sublime effort to put Denmark ahead in the opening stages before the Socceroos got back into the game and earned a point to keep their hopes of qualification to the knockout stages alive.

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Australia coach Bert Van Marwijk saw his side pick up their first point in Russia. (Adam Holt/EMPICS)

Like with the narrow loss to France, Australia coach Bert van Marwijk was again left frustrated by his side’s inability to take their chances when on top.

“The conclusion is we have one point and we deserve four,” the Dutchman said.

“Beside the first 15 minutes we played well, had chances to win and deserved to win so I am disappointed.

“We played very well and created chances and it is an unbelievable pity that we didn’t score.

“When you are at this level and create so many chances against Denmark I must be happy with the number of chances, the only thing we have to do is put the ball in the goal. The last part of the puzzle is that we must make the difference by scoring one more goal than the opponents.

“From the first day the team has improved every day and they surprised me again today.”

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