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'It's no longer football, it's turning into water polo': Buffon slams new video technology

Juventus benefited from the new technology yesterday but the legendary goalkeeper still isn’t a fan.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

JUVENTUS GOALKEEPER GIANLUIGI Buffon is not a fan of using video assistant referees (VAR) in football and believes the technology is making Serie A matches akin to water polo.

The reigning champions finally benefited from the initiative, new to Italy’s top flight this season, as Paulo Dybala netted the second goal of his hat-trick from the penalty spot in Saturday’s 4-2 comeback win at Genoa.

The hosts went 2-0 up after Andrej Galabinov converted a VAR-awarded penalty, while last weekend Buffon was forced to keep out a spot kick from Cagliari captain Diego Farias that was awarded on review before Massimiliano Allegri’s men closed out a 3-0 win.

Buffon’s main criticism of VAR centres around the regularity of its use and fears the flow of matches is being unduly interrupted.

“You told us that VAR would be used in clear-cut incidents where there were mistakes, but now you are even checking the replays for a trodden toe or a finger in an ear,” the veteran Italy international told reporters.

“It’s no longer football… it’s turning into water polo.

“It takes too long. I didn’t celebrate when we were awarded a penalty because six minutes had passed.

“I am speaking as someone who represents a side that attacks a great deal and is often in the opposition penalty area.

“Last season we had three penalties in our favour, but if it carries on like this, we’ll have 50.

“I’m happy with that as a Juventus player but it ruins the entertainment factor.”

Gavin Cooney
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