Furious Belgium boss Roberto Martinez fears ‘comical’ VAR cost his team victory in Wales


‘We’ve had two points taken away from us’: Belgium boss Roberto Martinez left furious at ‘comical’ VAR decision after Wales 87th minute equaliser… as he calls for an explanation following the initial offside call

  • Belgium were held to a 1-1 draw by Wales due to an 87th minute late equaliser
  • Wales’ Brennan Johnson, 21, came off the bench to net his first international goal 
  • Youri Tielemans had opened the scoring for Belgium six minutes after half-time
  • Belgium boss Roberto Martinez was furious at the VAR decision for the equaliser 
  • Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates

Furious Belgium boss Roberto Martinez fears ‘comical’ VAR will ruin the World Cup and accused the system of costing his team victory over Wales.

Substitute Brennan Johnson’s late equaliser was initially ruled offside, but referee Benoit Bastien was instructed to give it after a long pause while replays were checked. Youri Tielemans had put Wales ahead early in the second half.

These replays were not available on the big screen while they were being examined but Martinez has since watched them and was left furious by what he saw.

Furious Belgium boss Roberto Martinez fears ‘comical’ VAR cost his team victory in Wales

Furious Belgium boss Roberto Martinez fears ‘comical’ VAR cost his team victory in Wales

Wales substitute Brennan Johnson’s late equaliser was initially ruled offside before it was given

Wales substitute Brennan Johnson’s late equaliser was initially ruled offside before it was given

‘It’s gone a bit mad,’ said Martinez. ‘We need an explanation from the VAR committee on how the system works. We’ve had two points taken away from us.

‘I expect an explanation from high up, from FIFA, from UEFA, ahead of the World Cup. The lines used to determine whether a player is offside don’t work. It’s comical.

‘I don’t know whether we need a 3D system. We are in a multi-million pound industry and this aspect is not serious. 

‘The linesman made a good decision and was overruled by a faulty system.’

Boss Martinez wants an explanation from the VAR committee about how the system works

Boss Martinez wants an explanation from the VAR committee about how the system works 

Martinez’s opposite number Rob Page also expressed frustration with VAR after Ethan Ampadu’s early strike was ruled out, again for an offside decision, and again after a long delay.

It would have been Ampadu’s first international goal but it was chalked off because Joe Rodon was in an illegal position when Dan James crossed.

‘They are taking too long to decide on the marginal ones,’ said Page. ‘I’m not sure what they can do to improve it, unless they get rid of it. I’m not sure it’s improved from last year.’

Rob Page also expressed his frustration with VAR after Ethan Ampadu's strike was ruled out

Rob Page also expressed his frustration with VAR after Ethan Ampadu’s strike was ruled out

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