German stars slam VAR “catastrophe” ahead of technology’s England debut

Germany international Sami Khedira has blasted video assistant referees as a "catastrophe", ahead of the technology's landmark use at Wembley tonight.

The VAR system will be used in England for the first time during the Three Lions' friendly against Germany, having already been trialled in Italy's Serie A and Germany's Bundesliga.

Khedira, who plays for Italian champions Juventus, said he agreed with a diagnosis made by national team mate Sandro Wagner that the VAR was a "catastrophe" and had not cut mistakes out of the game.

Read more:Howard Webb – technology undoubtedly helps referees, but video replays won't be a panacea for football

"For me, football is about emotion and mistakes are part of it," said the 30-year-old midfielder.

"If you can minimise these then it's good, but now I have the feeling both in Germany and Serie A that referees are overwhelmed by it.

"They no longer know whether they should blow the whistle or not; whether the video assistant will intervene or not. Sometimes it doesn't get involved even if there's a clear penalty. There's a great confusion. Even for some players, when they score they ask themselves, 'Do I celebrate or not?'

"There is an extreme amount of emotion and passion which is getting lost the game, and this is what football is all about.

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"If it can be clearly regulated, then it could be good, but right now I'd have to borrow Sandro's words that it's been a catastrophe."

Hoffenheim's Wagner cited the several minutes delay during his side's recent 3-0 victory over Cologne while the match referee consulted the VAR.

"Despite the video being used, there are still so many mistakes being made," he said.

"The way it's being used has been a catastrophe, but I do like the idea behind it."


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