Millie Bright bemoans ‘mind-blowing’ lack of VAR in Women’s Nations League as Lionesses hurt by offside call | OneFootball

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Evening Standard

·26 September 2023

Millie Bright bemoans ‘mind-blowing’ lack of VAR in Women’s Nations League as Lionesses hurt by offside call

Article image:Millie Bright bemoans ‘mind-blowing’ lack of VAR in Women’s Nations League as Lionesses hurt by offside call


ngland captain Millie Bright says it is “mind-blowing” that VAR was not in use for the Lionesses’ defeat to the Netherlands.

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The Lionesses were beaten 2-1 by the Dutch in Utrecht, but midfielder Danielle van de Donk was clearly offside for their opening goal.

VAR, however, is not in use in the Nations League during the group stage, although it is planned to be used in next year’s finals.

Bright did not want to use the lack of VAR as an excuse for England’s loss - which is only their third in 41 games under Wiegman - but she believes it should be in place given the growth of the women’s game.

“It is always frustrating [to not have VAR],” she said. “I think we push the level of the game to be so high and professional, yet we sometimes have VAR, sometimes don’t, sometimes have goal-line technology. There is no consistency.

“But, by no means is that an excuse. 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.

“This is international football and we do not have VAR in a competitive international game, which is mind-blowing.

“But like I said, we put ourselves in that position in the first couple of phases where we aren’t clearing the ball, it ricochets off and she is clearly offside. But I never want to make excuses in the game.”

Bright was backed up by her England team-mate Georgia Stanway, who underlined how VAR should be in use for a game which impacts Team GB’s hopes of qualifying for next year’s Olympics.

“She (Van de Donk) was basically stood next to Mary [Earps],” she said.

“That’s football, but also we are at a level now where we do need VAR at every game and we do need officials to be able to step up in those moments, because those are the moments whether you make qualification or don’t.

“We are competing to go to an Olympics here, yet things like that are the difference. There is not much you can say apart from there is still work to be done in the women’s game and for VAR to be at every single game.

“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.”

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