Chelsea: Emma Hayes demands VAR in women’s football after Arsenal loss

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has asked for the incorporation of goal-line technology and VAR into the Women’s Super League

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has asked for the incorporation of goal-line technology and VAR into the Women’s Super League.

Hayes made the comments after her side lost 3-2 to Arsenal on the opening day of the season. Vivianne Miedema opened the scoring for the Gunners at the Emirates, before Erin Cuthbert equalised for Chelsea just before half-time.

Beth Mead then struck twice in the second half to put Arsenal 3-1 up, but Pernille Harder’s goal for Chelsea in the 64th minute made for a dramatic end to the game.

There was controversy over Mead’s second goal, however, with replays suggesting the attacker was offside when the ball was played through to her by Mana Iwabuchi.

"They went 3-1 up, she's two yards offside, but we're not there with VAR yet," Hayes told Sky Sports after the game. "We should be demanding that. We shouldn't expect lower standards for women's football, we should demand that VAR and goal-line technology is part of our sport and as soon as possible."

Hayes also claimed the lack of technology in women’s football meant female players were treated like "second-class citizens".

"I heard before the game that there was a conversation around it not being a priority because it’s really expensive but I think we’re selling our game short," she said. "We have all got used to VAR and goal-line technology so I feel by not having it in the women’s game is like being second-class citizens."

There was also controversy during the opening match of the WSL season between Reading and Manchester United. The Red Devils triumphed 2-0, but Royals boss Kelly Chambers believed her team were denied a goal.

The incident occured when Manchester United were 1-0 up. Reading’s Brooke Chaplen hit the crossbar from the edge of the penalty box, with replays suggesting the ball had bounced over the line.

"It was over the line, but there’s nothing I can do about it now," Chambers said at full-time. "These kind of incidents just go to show how the top level of men’s football is so far ahead of the women’s game. Theirs is so much more advanced than ours.

"I’m sure it would have been picked up by goal-line technology, but we’re not quite at that level yet unfortunately."

VAR, which was trialled at the 2019 Women's World Cup in France, then made its debut in the Premier League in the 2019-20 season. Goal-line technology has been used in the men’s top flight since 2013.

Despite the controversy surrounding VAR and goal-line technology, the opening weekend of the WSL was deemed to be a success. Matches took place at main stadia such as the Emirates, Goodison Park and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while games were also broadcast on Sky Sports and the BBC

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