• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

VAR failure at Singapore Cup match. Hougang United denied clear penalty.

Sep 26, 2023 ,

Defending Singapore Cup champions Hougang United were denied what appeared to be a clear penalty but that was not exactly the subject of online conversations after a Singapore Cup clash between the Cheetahs and Tanjong Pagar United on 25 September.


At the Jurong East Stadium, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system did not function when it was called upon to help referee Clarence Leow review an incident which involved Jaguars goalkeeper Kenji Rusydi and Hougang’s Hazzuwan Halim. 

The incident took place with the scores tied at 1-1 and with about five minutes left on the clock of regulation time.

Hazzuwan was given a run into the box off a lob by Kristijan Krajcek, and as he was chasing to connect, he was sent sprawling by Kenji.

Watch video.

Both grimaced on the turf, with Kenji then substituted following medical attention. 

But it was what happened thereafter which then further brought Singapore football into yet another depth of despair. 

Wanting to review the incident, the referee waltzed over to the VAR terminal between the benches.

He then gesticulated for support and help came in the form of volunteer who looked like she was trying to press a remote control over and over again, while pointing at the screen.

It was obviously not functioning.

The referee waited for a few minutes before he went back into the field of play, and called both teams into explain his decision.

His call not to signal for a penalty was met with protests from Hougang United players. 

The gestures were clear enough to show who exactly were hard done by the decision, and the failure of the VAR system to operate.

The war also also continued on Twitter with former Hougang United forward Stipe Plazibat calling it a “shocking decision”.

What’s worse for Hougang United, the Jaguars went on to score deep into time added on after Kazuma Takayama knocked the ball into the back of his own net following a mazy run by Blake Ricciuto into the box.

The FAS has not made any statement about the VAR incident as of time of publishing.


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