VAR killing excitement, says Fulham boss Parker

Soccer Football - Premier League - Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur - Craven Cottage, London, Britain - March 4, 2021 Fulham manager Scott Parker Pool via REUTERS/Neil Hall

(Reuters) - Fulham manager Scott Parker took aim at the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system and said it was killing football's excitement after his side had a goal disallowed in Thursday's 1-0 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur.

Tottenham took the lead in the 19th minute thanks to an own-goal by Tosin Adarabioyo, but Fulham thought they had equalised through Josh Maja before his effort was chalked off by VAR after Davinson Sanchez kicked the ball onto Mario Lemina's hand as the visitors looked to clear.

"We're trying to make the game so pure and so sterile and trying to control every single phase to an absolute tee and that's where the problem lies for me," Parker said.

"What we want to see as fans and spectators is goals, excitement, and I'm sorry to say that VAR is killing every bit of that.

"No longer do you celebrate a goal because you're hanging on thinking it might be disallowed and then you have a 10-second check. You're losing the raw emotion of the game we absolutely love and it's a shame."

Former England defender Matthew Upson said it was harsh to penalise Lemina.

"I don't know what Lemina is meant to do," Upson told BBC. "Are you supposed to dive out of the way of the ball? We see these decisions week in, week out, and you feel for Fulham."

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho remained tight-lipped over the decision.

"My view is not important. I don't make decisions. We just have to respect the views of the officials," he said.

The result left Fulham in 18th and deep in relegation trouble, three points behind Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion, having played an extra game. They visit champions Liverpool on Sunday.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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