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Former Canaries boss says Pukki VAR call was ‘fair’

PUBLISHED: 10:34 30 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:34 30 December 2019

Former Norwich City manager Chris Hughton has described the decision to disallow Teemu Pukki's strike against Tottenham Hotspur after a VAR review as 'fair'. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd/Sky Sports.

Former Norwich City manager Chris Hughton has described the decision to disallow Teemu Pukki's strike against Tottenham Hotspur after a VAR review as 'fair'. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd/Sky Sports.

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Ex-Norwich City manager Chris Hughton has backed the decision to disallow Teemu Pukki’s strike against Tottenham Hotspur after consulting VAR, describing the call as “fair”.

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 thought he had fired the Canaries into a 2-0 lead when he controlled Mario Vrancic's lofted pass and fired beyond the helpless Paulo Gazzaniga, but he was thwarted by the controversial video review system.

Referee Chris Kavanagh pulled play back for an offside after VAR officials at Stockley Park decided that Pukki's shoulder was fractionally beyond Toby Alderweireld's toe as the pass was played.

Canaries fans were furious at the call, but former boss Hughton described the decision as '"fair" when questioned after the game by Sky Sports presenter Kelly Cates.

He said: "I think when we entered this era of VAR it was going to be about making decisions, and that exact same decision would have been made on a few other occasions and the end-product would have been exactly the same - it would have been an offside by a shoulder as opposed to a knee.

Former Norwich City manager Chris Hughton. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 05/04/2014.Former Norwich City manager Chris Hughton. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 05/04/2014.

"I think the most important thing is that a decision has been made and it's fair, because otherwise you are going to get numerous managers screaming because a different end-product was given on a different day.

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"It is the rule, and unfortunately we have to accept it."

Meanwhile, fellow pundit Jamie Redknapp called for a change to the offside rule, saying that officials cannot guarantee that such tight decisions are entirely accurate.

He said: "I think maybe next year, look to find a situation where you can only be offside with your feet, because when people are running you're naturally going to be leaning.

"It's not 100pc accurate. [The Pukki incident] feels so tight, so marginal, I would rather just see it with the feet and it would make a lot more sense.

"If you were to say to me that it's 100pc accurate, to the millimetre, I'd say that's fine, but they can't even guarantee that - it feels slightly false for me."

The VAR system was adopted by the Premier League for the first time this season, but has been surrounded in controversy throughout the campaign.

Long waiting times for decisions and marginal calls that have affected outcomes of games have seen many call for the system to be scrapped, while Norwich City Supporters' Trust chairman Robin Sainty has written to the national Football Supporters' Association.


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