Inconsistent technology use hurts UWCL

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall has criticised the inconsistent use of technology in the UEFA Women’s Champions League after being left incensed by multiple decisions that went against his side in a 1-0 loss at Bayern Munich in their quarterfinal first leg on Tuesday.

VAR was introduced to the competition from the quarterfinal stage onward last year, having previously only been used for the final. The use of goalline technology, however, is optional and the costs must be covered by the host team.

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“When we look at this competition and we’re thinking about taking the next step for it, it highlights a couple of issues,” Eidevall said. “One, VAR is only introduced in the quarterfinals — with referees that… I don’t know if that VAR referee has ever used VAR before.”

Referee Ivana Projkovska had officiated with VAR before and the VAR on duty, Bartosz Frankowski, was experienced in his role.

Bayern opted not to use goalline technology for Tuesday’s match and Arsenal were left frustrated when Stina Blackstenius had a second-half effort cleared off the goalline, although it appeared to be a successful clearance from Bayern’s Saki Kumagai

“Secondly, goalline technology is something you can use at that stage of the competition, just like the group stage, but it’s not compulsory,” Eidevall continued. “Today goalline technology was not in use because Bayern Munich chose not to pay for it.

“When we go to the Emirates [for the second leg] next week, Arsenal choose to pay for goalline technology because we think that’s the right thing to do to ensure a fair competition. I think it’s a problem for the competition that not every game has the same level of technology in helping the officials take the right decisions.

“It’s not Bayern’s fault. It’s within their rights to take that decision but I think we can all agree it’s very weird that you play at a level in the competition and all of a sudden it comes down to the host club whether you’re going to fund technology that is going to be used by both teams.”

Eidevall also took aim at the use of VAR at the Allianz Arena.

Arsenal had an appeal for handball in the Bayern box waved away in the first half, while Eidevall also cited a potential penalty for a shirt pull on Rafaelle Souza as she went up for a header in the second.

“Part of me is angry because obviously VAR was not working in the arena tonight,” he said. “Otherwise, it must be someone sitting there who is not looking at the pictures because it’s clear and obvious penalty situations — two of them. I think that’s unacceptable.”

Arsenal will attempt to overturn the 1-0 deficit from Lea Schuller’s first-half goal when they host Bayern in the quarterfinal second leg next Wednesday.

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