Ex-Southampton star gives ‘shocking’ verdict on referee ‘arrogance’ and VAR debate

Former Saints player Matt Le Tissier has demanded that former professionals be involved in VAR decisions, accusing referees of “arrogance.”

This past weekend alone saw a number of contentious decisions made in the Premier League, with Newcastle United’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal being one of the most notable.

In an interview with bettingsites.co.uk, Le Tissier outlined his suggestions for enhancing referees’ ability to make decisions.
“People were expecting not to have these kinds of debates when it came in,” he stated.

“I recall a debate during its discussion when someone said, ‘After all, we won’t have anything to fight about in the bar.'”

“Well, that has not turned out to be the case whatsoever. I have been a little bit disappointed with the standard of the decisions being made if I am honest.

“As I said even before VAR came in, I felt like it needed an ex-professional footballer in the room with the referees at the same time to advise. Not to make the decisions but to give them advice.

“I still believe after watching it for a few years now that it is a really good idea to do that.

“The referees do not want to do that because I feel like there is an arrogance amongst referees that they are the be-all and end-all.

“They know everything and that players can’t add anything to it. That is a terrible attitude.”

This season, Southampton won’t have to deal with VAR in the Championship.

However, if they draw a Premier League team away in the FA Cup or advance to the Championship play-offs at the end of the season, they might be affected by it.

The 55-year-old Saints legend believes that when it comes to VAR, stadium patrons are not given enough input.

Le Tissier stated that everyone involved would benefit from hearing the audio played to the fans or even from watching the procedure play on the stadium’s large screen.


Matt Le Tissier Quits Southampton Role After Backlash Over Ukraine Tweet  Southampton The Guardian | vlr.eng.br


He added: “It would be much better if we were to hear the communication between the referee and the VAR, that would allay a lot of problems within the crowd because they are just sitting there frustrated as they do not know what is going on.

“They do not know what they are checking for. If it was to be seen on the big screen, as they go through the process, then everybody can see and there is accountability and transparency there.

“They are two really important things. We are not quite getting that at the moment.”

Le Tissier also commented on referees working in foreign leagues.

This coincides with the controversy surrounding veteran Premier League referee Michael Oliver, who officiated a Saudi Arabian match between Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr.

According to the former England international, that shouldn’t be permitted to occur.

He added: “I’ve always actually said right from the start that there would be a conflict of interest. Personally, no I wouldn’t (allow them to work for foreign leagues).

“They pay them well enough already, they shouldn’t have to go and freelance in other countries.”

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