Will Chelsea’s cup final red card lead to VAR rulechange?

Referee Anthony Taylor sent Mateo Kovacic off during Arsenal’s FA Cup final victory over Chelsea yesterday for a second bookable offence, but the broad belief is that VAR would have overturned the decision.

The Croatian was removed from the pitch with the Blues already trailing in the tie, but due to the rules on VAR currently, only straight red carded decisions are permitted to go to the Video assistant.

Former official Keith Hackett is also of the belief that the second yellow was an error.

Hackett wrote on his Telegraph column: “In the second half, with Arsenal leading 2-1, Chelsea had Mateo Kovacic sent off for a challenge that the referee Taylor mistakenly decided deserved to be punished with a yellow card, the Croat’s second of the game,” he wrote in his Telegraph column.

“In my view, you could not describe it even as a foul on Granit Xhaka and, at worst, the challenge was careless as opposed to reckless. Which meant that it certainly should not have been a booking.

“Television viewers and no doubt Stuart Attwell, the Var, would have agreed on watching the replay. But Attwell could not call for a review because a Var intervention is not permitted for a yellow card.

“The rule takes its lead from the disciplinary process, which similarly prevents clubs from appealing against bookings. This incident showed that on this point the law falls down, however.

“The Var should be empowered to highlight a mistaken second yellow card. The technology is there: let’s use it as best we can. As it was, the FA Cup final is a huge game and the decision had a significant impact on it.”

Whilst I can agree that the second yellow was wrong, simply changing the rule to allow VAR to step in to be used on all yellow cards may well have to come in, but they are trying their hardest not to allow the technology to stutter the run of play.

Do we expect any major changes going into the new season when it comes to the use of technology? Will the FA look at Kovacic’s dismissal as a staple for change?


Tags Arsenal v Chelsea FA Cup Final Mateo Kovacic


  1. there’s a degree of subjectively tho surely. No doubt Taylor’s call was bad, and the contact was very minimal, but refs have their own decisions for giving a card. You can get 2nd yellows for accumulation of small fouls (wasnt the case here). VAR has gone against us so many times this season and there definitely needs to be a change of rules. I think allowing refs to use the monitor more is something that needs to happen. VAR should be able to tell ref to check monitor if they think something needs to be looked at again for RC or Penalty calls. For some reason we’ve only seen that done maybe 1-2 times this whole year. I’m not going to feel bad for chelsea for a second tho. Jorginho should’ve been off in an earlier game against us. Just like when there was no VAR, some things go your way and some things dont. Debut year for VAR has been very very rough nonetheless.

    1. Agree 100% RSH – the reason, I thought, the refs didn’t use the TV pitchside screen, was because the OGMOL had ruled that was the case.
      Am I right in thinking they changed it and we saw Aubamayang sent off the first time it was used?

  2. You are write jorginho could have being sent off in the first league game against chelsea but remained until score their winner. But i still think the 2nd kovacic card is a good call from taylor. The attempt and there was a touch. Aside that can we point out any wrong call from taylor? Just that arsenal players were tactically and technically decipline.

  3. This inconsistency, which is inevitable when different humans look at refs decisons, is the prime reason I an firmly against the whole concept of VAR. I fully accept there are some viable benefits for using VAR. BUT, IMO, they are far outweighed by the many inevitable problems it causes in most games, if we are being really honest.

    Firstly, it stops the all importand flow of thegame and takes away the most joyous moments of when a goal is concerned. No longer do fans or players instantly celebrate, in many goal situations. Offside by a cats whisker or differing interpretations by different people constantly chalk off goals that are perectly OK without VAR.

    It undermines the all important authority of the onfield ref, which is the biggest no no of all! In fact, what the refs assoc SHOULD be doing and also the Prem league, FIFA, UEFA and all fans and players, is to universally accept all the refs decisions and accept the rub of the green.

    The authorities should back up refs decisions with draconian punishments for diving and other cheating, if the game is ever to be serious about being more honest and serious in its intents. There is no perfect VAR scenario that will get every decision 100% right and accepted within seconds, rather than minutes on end. That is harmful to the game and I have long called for VAR’s eradication.
    No deep and proper thought was given to the whole concept of VAR and if you ask most fans at games they will tell you it spoils their fun. And I say that fans and their enjoyment are the lifeblood of the game.

    Upset them at your peril and banish this silly VAR concept before it does yet more harm. Nuff said!,

    1. No VAR and Man utd will win the league in three successive seasons. VAR reduce the damage of referee biases.

  4. What about the Cesar Azpilicuenta yellow card, It’s supposed tobe Red.. Just like Luiz did in City’s game..

    If they lost Cesar, We will win with more than 2 goals..

  5. I remember in our home game with them I think it was Jorginho who was supposed to be sent off for the second yellow card but the ref didn’t give it. He went on to book Alexander for the less serious foul and they scored an equalizer through the free kick. The referee union owed us.

    Couple this with the games VAR has won Liverpool last season it is clear VAR still has a long way to go.

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