West Ham’s Michail Antonio has had enough of VAR, and claims that referees have too. 

Like every club, West Ham have had their fair share of poor decisions from VAR. In fact, it feels like they have been one of the worst affected teams. From the outrageous end to the game at Bramall Lane, to the blatant handball in the dying moments of their game against Burnley – they’ve had next to no luck with the officiating.

Understandably, more and more people involved with the game professionally are becoming fed up with VAR and West Ham’s Michail Antonio has been extremely vocal about his distaste for the system. “I’ve said it a thousand times, I don’t like VAR,” he told Sky Sports.

“I honestly believe VAR needs to go back because I feel like it’s making the refereeing worse. If the referees vote themselves, I honestly believe the referees would get rid of it – they’re losing control of the game and it makes them look worse because they’re getting decisions wrong while on video.”

When asked if he thinks it should be done in a way where both teams get a set amount of opportunities to get a review, Antonio replied: “Nah I think just completely get rid of it because I feel it’s ruined the atmosphere, the fans don’t really celebrate any more, everyone’s not too sure if they’ve scored or not (like the goal for Chelsea the other day). It’s difficult to be fully in the game because you don’t know what’s happening.”

“If the linesman put his flag up it’s offside, if the referee didn’t blow his whistle then it’s a goal, then it’s just like that, but I feel like this day and age now with the VAR I feel there’s more arguments around a decision wrong than when the referee was just doing it.”

He’s absolutely hit the nail on the head, it does feel like there are more mistakes now – they’re certainly more highlighted. More importantly, it kills the momentum as well as the atmosphere and, as a result, the game is less enjoyable to watch for fans and neutrals.

Whether it’s getting rid of VAR, introducing a set amount of times it can be used by each team or just simply training the officials to be better, something needs to be done. In its current state it clearly is not fit for purpose and is only detrimental to fans, players and even the referees.