John Motson hated VAR and only approved one technological addition to football

The late, great John Motson might have been utterly timeless but even he had his limits when it came to football's ever-changing landscape.

The legendary commentator, who passed away at the age of 77 on Thursday, said he thought VAR was "a load of rubbish" and that forcing referees to constantly faff around during matches wasn't good for the game.

After bringing the curtain down on his illustrious 50-year career back in 2018, Motty, as he was affectionately known to fans and TV colleagues, lashed out at the technology – which had only been operational in the Premier League for a few months at the time.

READ MORE: John Motson's most iconic moments – from Ronnie Radford goal to sheepskin coat

"It’s a load of rubbish," Motson declared. "Goal-line technology is terrific, but to have the referee running across the pitch with his finger in ear, having to watch a video – it completely disregards his status.

"He’s no longer in charge of his own decisions. That’s a great mistake."

Five years on and VAR isn't any less controversial. A series of glaring gaffes made over the same weekend earlier this month saw public opinion of the tech dip to arguably an all-time low, with referees' chief Howard Webb forced to call an emergency meeting to stop the rot – resulting in the termination of Lee Mason.

Do you agree with Motty's views on VAR? Let us know in the comments section below.

Motson was best known for his work on the BBC, where he began his broadcasting career in 1971. Recognised as the voice of football, the Salford-born commentator covered 10 World Cups and 10 European Championships before hanging up his mic in March 2018.

He was awarded an OBE in 2001 for his services to sports broadcasting and went on to commentate on almost 2,500 televised matches.


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