Berhalter criticizes CONCACAF for not using video review

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter has criticized soccer officials for not using video review in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

While FIFA instituted video assistant referees for last year’s men’s World Cup and this year’s Women’s World Cup, the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football did not adopt it for its premier tournament.

“One thing I’m a little bit critical of CONCACAF is not having VAR,” Berhalter said Saturday. “I think it’s a necessity in today’s modern game. I’m disappointed with that decision. I don’t think it’s a decision that’s good for the game. Having said that, I think the referees in this tournament have been fine.”

Mario Escobar of Guatemala was picked as the referee for Sunday’s Gold Cup final between the U.S. and Mexico.

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CONCACAF declined to respond to Berhalter, spokesman Alvaro Urrutia said, but the confederation did issue a statement explaining its position on video review.

“We are committed to bringing VAR into CONCACAF, as we have seen how successful it was at the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” the regional governing body said, “however, we will only introduce new technology when we are confident that it will improve the fan and player experience, while maintaining the integrity of the game. We are therefore growing the pool of referees that are properly trained to implement the technology and learning from the implementation of VAR in leagues and tournaments around the world so we can deliver VAR at a world-class level in future CONCACAF competitions.”

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