Son dismissal was misuse of VAR, says Mourinho after derby defeat to Chelsea
Jose Mourinho believes VAR should never have been used to determine the red card which was handed to Heung-Min Son in Sunday’s derby defeat to Chelsea.
Tottenham were 2-0 down at the break and trying to work their way back into the contest at the start of the second half, when the South Korean was dismissed following VAR intervention.
He had tussled for the ball with Antonio Rudiger and after being sent tumbling, flicked a leg up into the Chelsea defender’s chest.
But the new Spurs boss believes it is a misuse of the technology and only served to kill the game.
By contrast, he says the system was correctly used in the first half to award the visitors a penalty after keeper Paulo Gazzaniga had crashed into Marcos Alonso. Referee Anthony Taylor inexplicably failed to call it as a penalty and VAR corrected his mistake.
“For me it’s not a red card,” Mourinho said. I think if we go to every person in this room, some will say yes and some will say no and that is not the essence of the VAR.
“The essence of the VAR, the initial protocol of the VAR – and I was involved in that in the beginnings in Uefa meetings and those kind of things - it is for the penalty of the first half: a clear and obvious mistake. For me. That’s VAR.
“When you have that situation with Son and Rudiger, it’s not a clear and obvious mistake by the referee. I think the mistake of the referee in that action is not to give a yellow card to Rudiger – because of the way he falls on Son, that is the clear mistake.
“So for me, that’s really, really bad and basically kills the game.”
Mourinho was also unimpressed with what he perceived to be play-acting by the German defender, which he felt probably contributed to the dismissal.
“Rudiger for sure is having scans in the hospital on broken ribs, because it was really a violent situation,” he said sarcastically.
“In some countries, like mine, for example, with our cultures we used to say ‘clever player’ but in this country – and one of the reasons why I fell in love with this country in 2004 – is because we don’t call them clever. We call them other things, that I refuse to call.”
The game had more controversy not long after, when Rudiger reported racist chants coming from the stands and play was halted. Announcements were also made over the PA, as current protocol dictates.
“I hate racism in society. I hate racism in football,” said the Spurs boss. “I’m disappointed that things like that still can happen, but the referee stopped the game, he spoke to the players, spoke with the captains, spoke with the coaches.
“I was losing, I don’t want the game to be stopped, but immediately when I knew the reason why the game was stopped I obviously understood and accepted it. I think the club is a proud club in these kind of situations and the club also internally will try to deal with it.”
Mourinho had no complaints about the 2-0 loss, admitting his old club were worthy winners.
“They were better than us in the first half – not difficult for me to admit it,” he said. “They played in a system where they are very comfortable – a system they play for two years – and they created problems in the first half. Not problems of clear scoring situations but problems with the control they had, so the game was basically in our half.
“They were superior but then you look to the goals and they are not a consequence of any superiority. The first goal is a short corner with a big mistake – because we know how to defend short corners, and the players involved in the short corner solution, they were not focused. Then you concede with a penalty. The goals came on mistakes.
“In the second half we had much more control and we were in our best period of the game, and we were looking for a goal and instead of a goal came a red card and then the game obviously is easier for them to control.”