Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were among coaches accused by Uefa of showing a “lack of respect” after failing to show up at a VAR briefing on its Champions League introduction.
Head coaches from just five of the final 16 teams in the tournament attended a Frankfurt briefing on Monday to outline how the new video assistant referee will be used for the remainder of the competition. Liverpool were spared blame for not attending as they were on Premier League duty, but the Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin expressed annoyance at the likes of Manchester United, City and Tottenham for sending less senior staff.
At the briefing, Roberto Rosetti, Uefa’s head of refereeing, had appealed for patience as VAR is “still not perfect”. “Expectation is very high,” he said. “Behind the screen is always a human being.”
Ceferin said on Thursday that the coaches that did not turn up now have “no excuses” if they complain about the technology. He said the managers of Juventus, Lyon, Paris St-Germain, Roma and Porto were the only attendees.
“Liverpool were playing so couldn’t come. Some sent assistant coaches, others sent marketing staff. Not only a lack of respect for Roberto Rosetti – but influence of managers is huge and if they complain about referees they should at least come see what the experts say about VAR. So no, they have no excuses any more – especially the ones who did not come.”
Earlier at the Uefa Congress in Rome, Ceferin launched a thinly-veiled attack on Fifa by saying he will not be a “yes man” for money-spinning new world tournaments.