England’s captain, Millie Bright, said it was “mind-blowing” that VAR has not been in use for the Nations League games, after England’s 2-1 defeat against the Netherlands where Daniëlle van de Donk was clearly offside for the Dutch opener.
“This is international football and we do not have VAR in a competitive international game, which is mind-blowing,” Bright said.
“It is always frustrating [to not have VAR]. We push the level of the game to be so high and professional, yet we sometimes have VAR, sometimes don’t, sometimes have goalline technology. There is no consistency.”
Georgia Stanway said: “She was basically stood next to Mary [Earps, England’s goalkeeper].
“People at home can see straight away on the TV what is going on. We could see it [on the big screen] as soon as they had scored. So surely the referee can look up and see the big screen as well? But she has made the decision, so we have got to play and obviously we played to get the 1-1, and we were unfortunate towards the end of the game where we just need a little bit more game management.”
The manager, Sarina Wiegman, echoed the words of her players. “First of all, I thought our build wasn’t necessary to do it that way, but it was so obvious it was offside,” she said. “I think the whole stadium thought it was offside so I’m really disappointed about that. When you talk about VAR, of course it would have taken away that goal. I think we need consistency in VAR. Either you have VAR, or you don’t have VAR.”
Bright said the lack of VAR was “no excuse” for England’s defeat, with defensive errors at fault in the buildup to the offside goal and the Netherlands’ 89th-minute winner.
“By no means is that an excuse,” she said. “We put ourselves in that position – not clearing the ball, not getting out of pressure. But yeah, they are the differences in games as well and it is really unfortunate that these are still huge decisions that are incorrect. But that’s where we as players have to keep speaking about it, we have to step up, we have to demand better and demand more.”
Wiegman said of the result: “It was tough to take because it was so unnecessary. We really gave it away in the last few minutes.
“There were two halves. In the first half we didn’t get the press we wanted. They didn’t create many chances but there was some dangerous moments. The second half I think we dominated the game. They had to go back and didn’t create the press they wanted to. I hoped we would score a little bit more.”