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  1. ITV Report

Newcastle's equaliser against Watford should have been ruled out by VAR says referee chief

Referees’ chief Mike Riley has said that Fabian Schar’s equaliser during Newcastle’s game against Watford last month was one of four video assistant referee (VAR) mistakes made during the Premier League season.

The goal cost Watford victory and Javi Gracia his job as manager.

Schar scored after the ball hit Isaac Hayden’s arm as he challenged for a header.

Riley said the incident was one of four decisions that should have been changed by VAR.

There have been 227 incidents involving goals, red cards and penalty decisions during the Premier League season so far. Six of these decisions were challenged by VAR.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce defended VAR, saying that he believes the system helps referees get the majority of decisions correct.

“There’s going to be little mistakes, but they’re going to get more right than wrong.

“There’s still some grey areas and the handball seems to be the most contentious. The law is that you shouldn’t score a goal if it brushes your arm so we got away with one, we got a bit of luck.

“I’m sure we’re going to be discussing it a few more time, but in the main, the big decisions they usually get right.

“There are still going to be some contentious ones, even with the technology that we’ve got, so there’s still going to be one or two things they got wrong, but the vast majority, 95, 98 per cent of the time, they’re going to get right.”