Mark Hughes has urged the Premier League to emerge from the “dark ages” by introducing video assistant referee technology. The Southampton boss criticised referee Simon Hooper after he disallowed a Charlie Austin goal for offside during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Watford.
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Striker Austin branded the decision “a joke” during a passionate post-match interview.
The visitors also had reason to feel aggrieved with the officials at St Mary’s as they were denied a penalty when Ryan Bertrand, who was on a yellow card, appeared to bring down Nathaniel Chalobah inside the box. “It needs to come in.
I was surprised they didn’t introduce it at the beginning of this year (season), I think a lot of people in the game were,” Hughes said of VAR. “A lot of other competitions have introduced it very, very quickly. “All the major sports have video reviews and for some reason the Premier League, which is watched all around the world, is still in the dark ages.”
Austin turned home Nathan Redmond’s cross in the 66th minute but the strike was chalked off because Maya Yoshida – who did not touch the ball – was standing in an offside position.
Saints were a goal up at that point thanks to Manolo Gabbiadini’s first-half opener.
The hosts survived strong claims for a spot-kick early in the second period, with Hornets players surrounding referee
Hooper after he waved away their appeals following Bertrand’s mistimed challenge.
Jose Holebas then ensured Southampton’s winless run stretched to eight top-flight fixtures with an 81st-minute leveller.