Football

Chris Wilder Irked After Technology Glitch Costs Sheffield United Win

Chris Wilder Irked After Technology Glitch Costs Sheffield United Win

Chris Wilder was understandably annoyed after Sheffield United's draw with Aston Villa on Wednesday evening.

The game, played at a supporterless Villa Park, was the first Premier League action since Covid-19 forced the league into hiatus more than three months ago.

Shortly before half-time, with the match scoreless, Villa goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland carried the ball over his own line after being bumped by one of his own players.

Referee Michael Oliver gestured that the goal-line decision system had not indicated that the ball had crossed the whitewash even though television pictures showed that it clearly had.

In a statement following the game, Hawk-Eye, the company which operates the system, apologised to Sheffield United and the Premier League.

"The seven cameras located in the stands around the goal area were significantly occluded by the goalkeeper, defender, and goalpost," said Hawk-Eye.

"This level of occlusion has never been seen before in over 9,000 matches that the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system has been in operation."

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Sheffield United manager Wilder called it a "strange" evening having the technology mishap along with playing a game in front of no fans.

"I think the goalkeeper was in the Holte End when he caught it - or dragged it back," said Wilder.

"My issue is obviously one of frustration. Seven cameras haven't picked it up - the most technical league in the world - everything we see at every angle and it hasn't seen a goal. That is disappointing from our point of view.

"We went to Tottenham last year, John Lundstram's big toe was offside and I was hanging around at White Hart Lane in the pouring rain for 10 minutes waiting for a decision. I don't understand why I can't wait 10 minutes in Birmingham.

"The statement has come out and it is unprecedented, unbelievable. I did have a laugh and joke beforehand that we have had some poor decisions go against us and I said I wouldn't bet against one going against us this evening.

"We were waiting for somebody at Stockley Park to show a bit of courage and say they will make that decision but if they've not seen it and seven cameras haven't seen it I suppose he will say that it was not their decision to make."

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PJ Browne
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