Ligue 1 official not bullied into VAR review: ref chief

Paris (AFP) –


French football authorities insisted on Monday that a Ligue 1 referee had not been bullied into overturning via VAR his decision to allow a goal despite doing so five minutes after it had been scored following furious player protests.

Clement Turpin did not "resort to video assistance under pressure from anyone" during Saturday's goalless draw between Brest and Rennes, said Pascal Garibian, the director of referees (DTA) told AFP on Monday, even if "the course of events" might suggest the opposite.

Garibian did acknowledge "there was a real dysfunction in the process of the video assistance."

Turpin initially awarded Raphinha's goal for Rennes at their Breton rivals Brest on the advice of the video assistant.

Convinced there had been a foul in the build-up to the goal, the home players refused to restart the game and demanded that the referee watched a replay.

After five minutes of discussions, Turpin, a World Cup referee, consulted VAR and acknowledged a foul in the build up the home players had complained about and disallowed the goal. The match ended 0-0.

Garibian explained that there were two potential fouls in the build up.

Turpin had spotted the first but, asked to check, the video assistant, rewound only as far as the later collision and reported it was not a foul. Turpin allowed the goal to the disbelief of the home team. After they forced a delay, the officials checked the entire build up.

"Chronologically, the work should have been reversed," said Garibian blaming "inefficient communication".