Manchester United star Harry Maguire disagrees with Erik ten Hag on scrapping VAR

Harry Maguire and Erik ten Hag aren’t on the same page about VAR (Photo: Getty)

Harry Maguire says VAR should only be used for offsides as the Premier League gears up for a huge vote on whether it should be scrapped.

His comments would appear to somewhat disagree with his Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, who said he was in favour of keeping Video Assistant Referees.

On Wednesday, it was was announced that Wolves had formally called for the removal of VAR which has been used in England’s top-flight since 2019.

Their proposal will trigger a vote between all 20 Premier League clubs when they meet for their annual gathering on 6 June, with a two-thirds (14-6) majority required to pass.

VAR has been incredibly divisive since its introduction, and while clubs are said to be largely in favour of it remaining, Wolves’ motion has a number of high-profile supporters including United legend Wayne Rooney.

Ten Hag was asked about the matter in Thursday’s press conference before United’s final Premier League game against Brighton, and said he didn’t believe it was possible to return to pre-VAR days: ‘I don’t think there is a way back.

‘In principle it makes football more fair, but there are some problems, and I think we have to find the solutions to these problems, we have to make improvements.’

Are VAR’s days numbered? (Photo: Getty)

But Red Devils defender Maguire has now revealed he would be in favour of scrapping VAR for more subjective decisions, telling The Sun: ‘I think it is going to divide opinion and a lot of people will want to keep it.

‘Equally, the popular thing at the moment is to say get rid of it. It probably does need to be done better.

‘The automated offsides are coming in next season and that will improve it. It will make things quicker.

‘Personally, I would keep VAR but for offsides only. I would scrap it for everything that is opinion based. Offsides are factual and not subjective.

‘It is so difficult to lose a game on an offside goal when a player is two or three yards offside. Everyone makes mistakes, linesmen make mistakes, so that is why I would keep VAR for that.

‘But I would not have it for red cards, or penalties because even now, people disagree if a decision is right or wrong. For sure, I don’t want to see penalties decided by VAR – just let the referee make the decision.

‘There have been far too many soft penalties this season. Penalties decide football matches and are such an important part of the game.

‘Obviously, I am a defender and I would say that. Strikers might say they want soft penalties.’

Maguire is the first high-profile active player to have his say on the matter, with the debate set to rage on until next month’s vote.

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