Nuno Espirito Santo says referees ‘not taking their own decisions’ due to VAR

Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo wants referees to have more conviction in their decisions rather than rely on VAR.

Forest are in the middle of a storm following their heavy-handed statement after last Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Everton, where they effectively accused VAR Stuart Attwell of being a Luton fan.

Attwell failed to overturn referee Anthony Taylor’s decision on three penalty incidents, which is the latest in a long line controversial moments to have gone against Forest, who now face Premier League and Football Association charges.

Nuno has always been wary of VAR and believes referees are shirking decisions knowing they have someone at Stockley Park to fall back on.

“The general feeling in football is referees are not taking their own decisions so this is affecting a lot,” he said. “They are not taking their decisions and waiting for the VAR to intervene is not helping the situation.

“Referees are the authority on the pitch and then VAR should help. What we want is to move forward.

“If nobody asked who is refereeing this match before it’s a sign things went well. It’s what we wish for, that nobody speaks about referees, they speak about the game.

“We cannot ignore it, things have been bad – they should feel responsible for it because there have been a lot of mistakes, not only in our games. You can see things are not well. What we ask for is improvement.

“It’s not just the recent games. It goes on and on and on and on. That’s why we feel so much anger.

“We are responsible for our own mistakes but there have been mistakes which are not us. I understand the frustration we are feeling and that’s why I respect the players so much.”

Although their statement put the blame squarely at Attwell’s door, with implications of cheating, Nuno said it is nothing personal.

“We don’t want things to go much further, and it becomes personal or abusive to the referees. Try to understand us and put yourself in our skin.

“We don’t want things to go much further, we want to keep things on the game and on the issues we can control. But it’s so many things.

“We have had a lot of different VAR making the same mistakes, so it’s not personal.

“Nothing personal, doesn’t have to do with him. It’s the process.

“What we want, everyone in football, wants things to work out. It’s nothing personal.”


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