Barnsley head coach Michael Duff has welcomed the usage of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system at Monday’s League One final with Sheffield Wednesday.
VAR was not used in the EFL semi-finals, but will be employed in all three divisional showpieces at Wembley.
Having consistently spoke up throughout the season regarding poor refereeing standards and key decisions going against his Reds side – and being in regular contact with referees supremo Mike Jones – Duff has embraced the use of technology in such a big game.
The hope of all and sundry is that it is utilised properly.
Last season, Huddersfield Town’s Championship play-off final with Nottingham Forest was effectively ruined by two huge moments of controversy which went against the Terriers.
Huddersfield were denied two stonewall looking second-half penalties in a final which saw VAR utilised in the play-offs for the first time.
First, Harry Toffolo was tripped by Jack Colback and despite replays showing clear contact, VAR decided against reversing the decision of referee Jon Moss.
Later on in the half, Lewis O’Brien then went down inside the penalty area after contact from Max Lowe from behind.
Moss, who was refereeing his final game, again controversially didn’t give a penalty – to leave the Terriers incandescent with rage.
Pleased that VAR will be used on Monday, Duff, speaking in Barnsley’s pre-match press conference on Thursday, said: “We welcome it because, in other games, you are hoping the officials don’t make a mistake. In this one, they shouldn’t.
“The players have a meeting with the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) to give them an understanding of how it works. We watched Howard Webb on Monday Night Football and that’s probably the only insight we have into it. The meeting will educate us all a bit more.
“It (VAR) should eradicate any human error and that’s the reason it has been brought in.
“I would imagine it will be used at some point for something. It will be a new experience for everyone. I have never been involved in it, I don’t think the players have.”
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