Sean Dyche wants ‘tidying up’ of VAR after Dominic Calvert-Lewin red card

By Sports Desk January 04, 2024

Everton boss Sean Dyche called for a “tidying up” of VAR following the controversial decision which saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin shown a straight red card late on in the goalless FA Cup third-round tie at Crystal Palace.

Nathaniel Clyne went down wincing following a sliding tackle by Calvert-Lewin, who appeared to catch the Palace defender’s shin with his studs.

Referee Chris Kavanagh went to review the incident on the pitchside monitor and decided the contact was enough to dismiss the Toffees striker, who was sent off for the first time in his career.

Dyche said: “It seems a bit confused at the moment. I said recently, we had another one, where I said I don’t know who is refereeing which. I am a fan, (but) I definitely think we’re all aware it needs tidying up.

“I thought it was getting tidied up, and then it seems to have stepped back a bit. I remain a fan at this stage,  but it is beginning to test my patience even,  because I look at the obvious offsides which I think is fair, that should be there, some of the others I’m going well, what’s got a chance now of being let play and what’s got a chance of being called, but we don’t actually know.”

Earlier, Dyche had lamented the decision to turn to VAR in the first place, suggesting the calls throughout the contest had perhaps been inconsistent after an Everton penalty shout went unanswered.

He told ITV: “If you want to slow-mo everything, then you have got to slow-mo everything – you can’t just have it one for one and one for the other.

“At the end of it is minor contact. In live time, he doesn’t give everything, then you slow it down – and everything looks worse on slow-mo, we all know that.”

Dyche revealed he had not ruled out appealing the decision, saying: “I’ll double-check the process.

“Yet again it’s one of them risk-and-reward things. Is it worth it, is it not worth it. I don’t think anyone knows what’s going to happen with these decisions now.

“We’ll see, we’ll analyse it, we’ll get an outside view and then we will decide.”

Palace boss Roy Hodgson could understand his counterpart’s frustration, but stopped short of criticising the decision to dismiss Calvert-Lewin.

He said: “I mean Sean comes from a type of football, was brought up in a type of football where those sort of challenges were pretty commonplace and they weren’t punished if people got the ball.

“We now live in a slightly different world I think, and that is if you go into challenges with a straight leg and you have a bit of intent behind it, there’s a risk.

“There was definitely no malicious intent from Calvert-Lewin, there’s no question of that, not from seeing it back, it’s just a situation of an interpretation these days of a challenge, and the interpretation unfortunately can be that if you’re straight-legged and your foot is off the ground as you go into a challenge it can be deemed a red card.

“So have I got sympathy for him? Yes I have.”

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