Fifa Club World Cup: Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wants Fifa to fine-tune use of VAR

Al Jazira manager Henk ten Cate insists use of video technology 'a good thing'

Soccer Football - FIFA Club World Cup Semi Final - Al Jazira vs Real Madrid - Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 13, 2017   Referee Sandro Ricci with Al Jazira players after Real Madrid scored a goal that was eventually disallowed   REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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Zinedine Zidane, the Real Madrid manager, has urged Fifa to fine-tune its Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.

Madrid made it through to Saturday's Fifa Club World Cup final after a 2-1 win against Al Jazira on Wednesday evening which featured two controversial uses of the system.

First, Casemiro was denied a first-half goal for the Spanish giants because Karim Benzema was ruled offside, after a lengthy video consultation.

Madrid believed Casemiro had also been fouled in the build up, only for the incident to be overlooked.

Real Madrid’s Casemiro had a first-half goal ruled out for offside. Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

Then, after half time, Al Jazira’s frenzied celebrations after they thought they had secured a shock 2-0 lead were cut short, again due to an offside decision given on VAR review.

Madrid are more used to the system than most sides. Last year, Sergio Ramos was spared a red card in the final of the Club World Cup in Japan, which Madrid went on to win against Kashima Antlers.

The technology will be introduced to the Primera Liga from next season. However, Zidane does not believe the system is fully satisfactory as yet.

“We can’t go into details, but what I want to say is the problem is it took three or four minutes to make a decision,” Zidane said.

“That’s what I’m not pleased about. That is the way it is. In the end, we have to get the best of this technology, and improve the negative parts of this system.”

Luka Modric, the Madrid midfielder who was named man of the match in the semi-final at Zayed Sports City, echoed his manager’s sense of dissatisfaction.

“For me, I’m a little bit confused,” Modric said. “It can help in football, but in the case of the goal of Casemiro, they said it was offside because Karim interrupted one of their players.

“For me, this was not the case. I don’t really want to go into details, because it happened the way it happened, and we don’t have to worry about those details. We have to worry about the football, and what happens in the game.

“It helped us [against Jazira], because of their second goal. In another situation, it didn’t help us.”


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Henk ten Cate, the defeated Jazira manager, insists video reviews are a good thing for the sport – even though it potentially deprived his side of what would have been the most famous win in UAE club football history.

Mbark Boussoufa was ruled to be just offside when Ali Mabkhout passed to him, before he shot past Keylor Navas, at the start of the second half.

“In these tournaments, where there is so much at stake, I think every technical aid you can use is a good thing,” Ten Cate said.

“They cancelled the goal of theirs, which was offside. They cancelled a goal for us, and I saw the images back, and it was inches.

Soccer Football - FIFA Club World Cup Semi Final - Al Jazira vs Real Madrid - Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 13, 2017   Al Jazira’s Mbark Boussoufa scores a goal that was later disallowed   REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

“If you look at the importance of those kinds of decisions, imagine if this was the [World Cup 2018] final in Russia, and a situation like this happens. If it can help keep this sport fair, I think it is a very good thing.

“Every innovation, players have to get used to it. But probably after one year, we won’t talk about it any more because we will be used to it.

“So, I think it is a good thing – even though I wish it didn’t work, because then we would have been 2-0 up. It is OK like this, and the best team went through.”