Rayo Vallecano boss Paco Jemez claims VAR has made football a circus

Rayo Vallecano boss Paco Jemez believes football has ‘become a nonsense and a disgrace’ with penalties awarded too frequently.

Jemez was speaking after his Rayo side were held to a 2-2 draw by Las Palmas in their penultimate league fixture of the campaign in the Segunda, which leaves their hopes of a promotion playoff spot now remote.

Both of the visitor’s goals came from the penalty spot – one of which was retaken after Rayo goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski had moved early from his line – with Ruben Castro scoring each.

Jemez said that previously football had been a ‘precious’ sport but it is now a ‘circus’ in an angry reaction to decisions that went against his side on Friday evening.

The VAR system is used in Spain’s second division but has not stopped the controversy from officiating decisions, just as it has proved contentious in La Liga since its introduction in 2018.

“We need to condemn this great sport and highlight what it has become: a nonsense and a disgrace,” Jemez said, as quoted by Marca.

“You no longer know what to expect, with fouls called for things that are nothing and not for others which are more obvious – you can be penalised for anything.

“We have conceded two penalties today and the truth is the threshold for awarding them is now way too low.

“What I see is that the players have a lack of confidence. They do not dare to do anything. Anything that happens is punished as a penalty.

“Anything that happens is punished in match-defining decisions.”

Rayo are eighth in the Segunda, three points off a playoff spot going into the final round of action with both Fuenlabrada and Elche above them in the standings.

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