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Norwich fans may turn backs in 22nd minute of Crystal Palace match in VAR protest

PUBLISHED: 17:00 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:00 31 December 2019

Teemu Pukki of Norwich in action during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 28/12/2019

Teemu Pukki of Norwich in action during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 28/12/2019

Paul Chesterton

Calls are growing for Norwich City supporters to stage a protest over the use of VAR, after Teemu Pukki’s ‘goal’ against Tottenham was controversially disallowed for offside.

The hotly contentious VAR decison which ruled out Teemi Pukki's goal for offside. Picture: Sky SportsThe hotly contentious VAR decison which ruled out Teemi Pukki's goal for offside. Picture: Sky Sports

The Finn put the ball in the back of the Spurs net during Saturday's clash at Carrow Road, only for the video assistant referee to rule it out - by mere millimetres.

Supporters and pundits were united in their condemnation of the decision - the latest in a string of VAR controversies around offside rulings.

Fan groups Along Came Norwich and Barclay End Norwich were among those to express their dissatisfaction at the game, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

A banner was unfurled saying "VAR clearly and obviously not working. Decision: Put it in the bin".

Teemu Pukki of Norwich scores but the Teemu Pukki of Norwich scores but the "goal" is disallowed for offside by Video Assistant Referee Chris Kavanagh during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 28/12/2019

Along Came Norwich said they would support a call for co-ordinated protests from clubs against the use of VAR, while Barclay End Norwich tweeted: "Stop ruining live football."

In a letter to the national Football Supporters Association, Canaries' Trust chairman Robin Sainty said fans had to be united to "get rid of this nonsense."

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While supporters are working towards a future co-ordinated demonstration, they have decided not to stage an official protest during the New Year's Day's Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Carrow Road.

Teemu Pukki put the ball in the back of the net, but it was chalked off by the VAR officials for offside. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdTeemu Pukki put the ball in the back of the net, but it was chalked off by the VAR officials for offside. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

But there may yet be an unofficial demonstration.

Mr Sainty said: "We've talked to the groups and the feeling was that it was too short notice to get something official organised for Palace. We all want to work together to make a big an impact as possible."

But there have been suggestions supporters could turn their backs in the 22nd minute - in recognition of Pukki's shirt number.

Mr Sainty said: "My view is that feelings are running high at the moment and I think we could see a bit of a spontaneous protest at the Palace match, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

"I certainly wouldn't be against people doing something, to send a bit of a message ahead of the more co-ordinated protests which could come later on."

We asked the Premier League questions about the decision, but they have not given on-the-record answers.

On its website, they say VAR use in offside decisions is "a factual call based on evidence from fully calibrated offside lines".

MORE: After Teemu Pukki's 'goal' was ruled offside, is it time to scrap VAR?


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