Hasenhuttl slams VAR for ‘destroying the game’ as decision costs Southampton

Date published: Sunday 14th February 2021 3:34 - Samuel Bannister

Ralph Hasenhuttl has hit out at video refereeing for “destroying the game” after a controversial penalty helped Wolves sink Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s Stadium.

Referee Graham Scott had no hesitation in pointing to the spot when Nelson Semedo’s shot cannoned off Ryan Bertrand’s arm in Sunday’s Premier League clash.

Ruben Neves converted the hotly-contested penalty to cancel out Danny Ings’ stunning volley – and a transformed Wolves went on to win 2-1 thanks to Pedro Neto’s smart finish.

Southampton fell to a record sixth-straight Premier League defeat, leaving incensed Saints manager Hasenhuttl to reveal he had no ability to consult Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Martin Atkinson.

“I am normally a big fan, and if the VAR followed the rules everything would be easy,” said Hasenhuttl.

“I don’t know what Mr Atkinson saw today, but they are not doing a good job at the moment. It is that simple. VAR is destroying the game, that’s right.

“The referee explained that the arm was stretched away from the body.

“But when the ball hit the arm it stretched the arm away for me.”

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Hasenhuttl feeling hard done by

Hasenhuttl insisted his side deserved a penalty for a similar incident at the other end of the field in the second half at St Mary’s.

“If it’s the rule OK, I must take it,” said Hasenhuttl. “But then you must explain to me why this is then not stretched away from the body for the other one.

“This is what they had to explain but they couldn’t.

“I haven’t spoken with the VAR because he isn’t at the stadium so we can’t.

“This is the issue: the games aren’t decided in the stadium any more, the games are decided at Stockley Park. This is not so good for the game I don’t think.

“Everybody has seen it, and there is only one opinion you can have about this situation.

“It is very hard to understand what has happened to us. It’s hard to take that we lost the match and that’s what people will talk about tomorrow, but that’s football.”

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