The use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) annoys many football fans worldwide, but its role in the European Championship has been far less controversial than it was during the 2020-21 English Premier League season, William Hill said in a report on Thursday (July 15).
The bookmaker generated a controversy score for each of the 18 decisions tipped by VAR during the Euros, using reactionary metrics such as tweet volume, text sentiment analysis and articles generated on the incidents.
The pan-European tournament achieved an average controversy rating of 4.40, which is 14.39 percent less controversial than the Premier League.
Five of these 18 repealed decisions resulted in goals, six resulted in penalties, three goals were allowed and six were disallowed for offside.
There was also a handball exclusion and two red cards due to the use of VAR.
Mario Gavranovic’s potential winner in the 1-1 draw in the group stage against Wales was seen as the most controversial decision of the tournament, with the Swiss striker rightly classified as slightly offside.
Karim Benzema’s goal in France’s 1-0 win over Germany and the card upgrade by Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt to red for a deliberate handball in the knockout round defeat against the Czech Republic also caused outrage on social media.
But all important decisions in the tournament turned out to be technically correct.
The report also said that the VAR team based at UEFA headquarters in Nyon were not only efficient in their decision-making process for the European Championship, but also avoided lengthy interruptions during the four-week tournament.