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France great Henry fears VAR killing ‘joy’ of football

LONDON (AFP) – Thierry Henry believes the time taken to reach decisions using VAR is killing the “joy” of football.

Henry said on Wednesday he had no problems with the technology in principle but was frustrated by the speed of reviews.

The 45-year-old, Arsenal’s record goal-scorer, thinks that VAR is causing fresh controversies and not reducing arguments about refereeing decisions.

“In football we’re still behind, we have so much to learn,” Henry told the Leaders Week sport business conference.

“What I can see in American football, in rugby, in cricket or whatever it is, tennis, it’s instant. With VAR, what I get annoyed with is it’s not quick enough.”

Henry said the uncertainty surrounding VAR was preventing immediate celebrations.

“Another thing that’s very difficult for me is I used to score goals as a player. Sometimes (now) you don’t even know if you need to jump.

“Am I jumping? Am I celebrating? Am I not celebrating? It kills the beat of the joy of the game.”

Belgium’s coach Thierry Henry gestures during the UEFA Nations League’s League A Group 4 football match between The Netherlands and Belgium, at Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam. PHOTO: AFP
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