Former referee calls for rule change following Arsenal’s latest disallowed goal

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has called for a time limit to be brought in after officials took an extended period of time to cancel out Gabriel Martinelli’s Arsenal goal against Brighton this weekend.

The Brazilian thought he had equalised on the stroke of half-time when drifting back from an offside position to head into the net, only for VAR to eventually decide that it was offside after much deliberations.

Former official Halsey insists that a time limit should be included for VAR calls, despite the right call having been made this weekend.

“Arsenal’s disallowed goal against Brighton looked like the right call,” Halsey told CaughtOffside exclusively. “Gabriel Martinelli was just offside, his foot strayed offside.

“The question is why did it take four minutes to decide? I know there were other questions in there too – was there a foul? Did it come off a Brighton defender? – but it shouldn’t be taking four or five minutes to make that call.

“That’s what frustrates everybody, the length of time taken. If you’re looking at it for that long then maybe there’s an argument it should just be a goal.

“It might make sense to introduce a time limit on these decision-making processes, because otherwise it can go on and on and on. You can find whatever you want to find in an incident when you take that long.”

The goal probably shouldn’t have been allowed on Saturday, but the delay just makes bad viewing for any and all watching, and the biggest issues with the use of VAR is the disruption to the beautiful game.

This is more about football than it is about Arsenal, and regardless of the decision, the time taken is most definitely an issue.

Would a time limit cause further issues for those close calls, with extra pressure on VAR officials to make decisions quickly?


CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link

Video – Mikel Arteta post-Brighton “It’s time to criticise ourselves”

Tags Mark Halsey


  1. IMO that goal should have stood ,if it took 4 mins to come to that decision obviously they weren’t sure on something ,when I looked down the line he looked onside anyway .
    Cannot change it now but VAR needs to be looked at because it takes all the enjoyment out of the game ,players do not even know if they should celebrate now which is a shame .

    1. Dan, i think i said in another post i felt it should have stood and i stand by it aswel.

      There is not 1 angle that shows 100% that he is offside.

      the only angle that could show and produce the right call would be a birds eye view imo, which we do not have.

      it took 4+ mins to decide he was offside, which i felt was a joke tbh.

      If a linesman is unsure if he is or not offside, kept the flag down and allowed play to continue with the advantage given to the attacking team, as it is a spectator sport .

      Imo i thinkj VAR and how it is used is appalling and i would rather it be scrapped and we go back to how it was.

      VAR should be there to pick up things the on field ref misses, like the blatant corner Liverpool should have had yesterday, the penalty we should have had against City etc, but its not and that on top of how it is used just makes me start to hate the game i played and coached for over 45 years.

      the life of the game is being sucked out by badly used technology ;(

  2. The “Beautiful game” is a relatively recent phrase promoted by an advertising agency staffed by hustlers who have never set foot inside a football stadium. Like the football Arsenal played v Palace and Brighton was the beautiful game? Your having a laugh aren’t you. In truth football is often an ugly deathly boring game with teams set up to have ten players behind the ball passing the ball a million times sideways and backwards. Most goals when they finally do come are a result of poor defending, soft penalties, wicked deflections or scuffed toe pokes from one yard out. The time waiting for VAR decisions is often the only exciting moment in the entire game. Before VAR the fans were permanently crying out for a way to fairly review close calls by using the technology. Now we have the required technology and process fans are still moaning!!! How do you know football fans have just got off the plane? When the engines are turned off you can still hear the whining 🙂

    1. Go and watch the yanks play if that’s what you’re after. If you have never seen a beautifully constructed goal or defence turned into attack in full flight you are watching something else anyway.

  3. If a foul or offside cannot be determined after 30 seconds and multiple camera angles then it is not clear and obvious and goal/ ref initial decisions should stand

  4. Strongly agree, any decision after a minute and a half should remain with the on field official.

    We should not allow VAR to spoil the beautiful game

    Nah, Fairfan you have never seen Wenger team played, just before he lost his mojo, even for a while after he was still able to string some really beautiful games on display.

    It’s for that reason if Wenger should suddenly becomes available, Barcelona, Real and other top clubs would be after him again just like yesterday.

  5. Think VAR has gone from a good concept to a overused disaster. That lengthy delay seemed like they were looking to find something to disallow the goal.

    Fine in principle, but it is not applied equally across the league. Not that I’m saying they are singling out Arsenal, but how many other times have they stopped and delayed for 4 minutes?

    They don’t apply this to fouls, when perhaps they should. In the City / Liverpool match Thiago should have received 2 yellow cards within 15 minutes, if the rules were applied.

    He had one foul that was no where near the ball, basically tripped the player. The next was clearly late and a trip, which did receive a yellow. That should have been his second and run from the match.

    The answer is oversight of the VAR officials. Delays and mistakes should be followed by a week or 2 suspension. Subsequent errors should be longer suspensions and eventual removal from VAR.

    The current system is rotten, and I don’t think it has improved the game at all. They should take notes and follow the examples of other leagues who don’t seem to have the problems that VAR does in the PL.

      Whensomething is not fit for purpose thr correct and sensible thing to do is to bin it entirely and start from scratch.

      I have said from its very beginning and repeat again now that VAR, where the appointed and qualified ref has his homework publicly marked in front of millions watching on TV but by another ref on VAR, is hugely undermining the pitch ref and that should never happen .

      IMO, the ONLY time VAR will have any validity is when ALL VAR decisions can be made instantly and sent to the ref as goaline technology does right now, IN AN INSTANT, DIRECT TO HIM(VIA HIS WATCH) WITHOUT A PUBLIC MIDDLE MAN UNDERMINING HIM.
      No proper thought was given to the harm it does to the refs necessary onfield authority. It should have been given but it foolishly was not.

      Coupled with this important point about obeying the pitch refs own decisions , I would bring in far FAR, more draconian punishment for all cheating.

      Diving I would punish by a massive fine, to the player not the club, and instigate a MANDATORY SIX PREM MATCH BAN AND A RED CARD IN THE MOMENT. FOR A SECOND OFFENCE BY THE SAME PLAYER IN A LATER GAME I would double the 6 match ban to 12 and double it again, if necessary. This fierce deterrent would work but there is not the collective will to use it, stupidly too.

      Until we get a natural acceptance of the refs onfield decision by ALL players by punishing PROPERLY, all cheating and bad behaviour, we are on the slippery slope to nowhere.

      VAR as as present is a disaster and massively sends the polar wrong message that refs do not carry the final authority. They need to be backed, not smacked and in public too.

      A total rethink from scratch is needed and no VAR at all, UNLESS and UNTIL all VAR decisions are transmitted quickly and directed to the ref.

      1. Good points Jon, I can’t argue too much with what you stated.
        The system is flawed for sure, but is it even worth fixing? The concept is good to ensure fair play and results, but the implementation is surely a problem across the league and sport.

  6. Yes but next they’ll be slaughtered for being rushed into a wrong decision.

    If the situation was reversed and they’d allowed a goal like that for Brighton in the interests of time, we wouldn’t be very happy. They can’t win.

  7. The wrong decision was made.It was onside.Not having all this toe nail bollocks.They took 4 minutes to reach a decision.If in that much doubt.The benefit should go to the ATTACKING side.4 minute because VAR was desperate to find any excuse not to give it.A joke.VAR are the new corrupt referees.

      1. Agreed and wholeheartedly!! So what you are sayingPat I assume,, is exactly what I have said from thevery beginning , that VAR is unfir for purpose. I suggest you read my reply to Durand (above) for my whole view.

        I will gladly submit a detailed article on VAR if you wish but it cannot focus only on Arsenal, as all Prem clubs are affected, so you have only to agree and its a deal. OK then, or not?

  8. I’ve said for a while that VAR isn’t the problem, it’s the people at Stockley Park who operate it that are the problem. I’ve watched the so called offside from Saturday’s game numerous times and for the life of me I can’t see how they can tell that when Gabriel headed it Martinelli was offside. VAR is meant to come into play when there has been a clear error by the match day officials. In this instance there wasn’t a clear error.

  9. I have no problem with VAR at all, it gets more right than the old fashion way and im relaxed with that, its what i want. I do agree that a time limit would be worth thinking about, especially clear and obvious decisions. Offsides are a little bit more black and white.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs