Jurgen Klopp: Thicker VAR line could reduce offside controversies

VAR's role in offside decisions has come under significant scrutiny, but Jurgen Klopp feels a potential solution has been identified.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pointed to a suggestion that was raised at last November's UEFA meeting of leading coaches in Nyon.   -  Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp believes the number of VAR controversies in the Premier League could be reduced if a thicker line was used for offside decisions, ensuring marginal calls go in favour of the attacking side.

A succession of recent goals in England's top flight have been disallowed after VAR reviews showed players to be offside by the slimmest of margins.

In a news conference ahead of Liverpool's first game of 2020, which will see the runaway Premier League leader host Sheffield United on Thursday, Klopp pointed to a suggestion that was raised at last November's UEFA meeting of leading coaches in Nyon.

"UEFA came up with an idea where they said we just make the line thicker, this kind of judging line," explained Klopp.

"I didn't think it 100 per cent through but hopefully other people did that. For me it would give us a little bit of football back, because when I learned offside [if] it was in doubt [the benefit was given] for the offensive player.

READ | VAR only for 'clear and obvious' mistakes says IFAB chief

"At the moment, all these situations which we have an offside - if it was to our favour against Wolves or against Aston Villa when we were on the wrong side of it - it's in favour for the defensive line.

"Is there an opportunity to change a little bit? I think the thicker line ... I would like that, but I don't know who will decide that."

Although VAR's role in offside decisions has angered many fans, Klopp says players and managers cannot complain if a marginal call goes against them with the existing use of technology.

"We want to have clarification and right decisions, and with offside we get them now," he added. "The only problem is it feels like half an hour until you see if the toenail is there or not. But that's offside, so we have to make the decision."

ALSO READ | VAR: Where next from 'armpit' offsides to frothing outrage?

Referencing the Roberto Firmino goal against Villa in November that was ruled out due to the striker's armpit being just ahead of the last defender, Klopp said: "At the moment, it is offside and that's why we didn't moan. It was armpit and that's not cool, but at the end if someone tells me you can score a goal with the armpit then, ok, it's offside.

"When you're on the better side, then it's ok. When you're on the worst side, it's not so cool, but I think we had it a couple of times now against us, maybe twice it was in our favour. That's how it is."

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