UAE coach blames absence of VAR for Vietnam FIFA World Cup Qualifiers defeat

The United Arab Emirates head coach Bert van Marwijk has blamed the absence of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for their defeat against Vietnam in a Group G 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers encounter at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi. The Golden Dragons won the match 1-0 after Khalifa al Hammadi was sent off seconds before half-time.

The Dutch tactician, however, was positive about his team’s chances of moving into the next round of World Cup Qualifiers. UAE are currently third in Group G with two wins and as many defeats. Vietnam and Thailand are first and second with 10 and seven points respectively.

Malaysia and Indonesia are the other two sides in the group and every team has four matches in hand. UAE’s next WCQ encounter is against Malaysia on 26th March next year.

“There are still many matches to play and we are determined to play them offensively to earn as much points as possible. There are still points to earn in the coming rounds. We will fight to keep our chances of qualifying,” Van Marwijk said as reported by The National.

“The result of the match wasn’t good for us, but in football we have to always accept the result and work for the future. The red card changed the direction of the match. We performed well and created several chances to score, but we didn’t have the final touch. We forced the opponent to take a step back on the pitch and they relied on the counter-attack.

“We know the result is disappointing, but we have to always look on the positive side, which is the excellent performance of the players. We played almost 60 minutes with 10 men against a stubborn opponent, but I praise my players.

“I don’t want to talk about the referee. I don’t really know what exactly happened, but I saw the video at half-time and Khalifa didn’t push the Vietnamese player – they just crashed into each other and fell down together. But unfortunately VAR isn’t there in this stage of qualification,” he added.