The video assistant referee who made the decision to give Harry Kane onside in the critical moment during Tottenham Hotspur’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg victory over Chelsea on Tuesday night did not have access to another telling camera angle later identified by Maurizio Sarri.
The Chelsea manager played the alternative angle – which showed that Kane’s torso had crossed the offside line – on a laptop for the benefit of broadcasters after the match. Sarri, whose club’s analytics team had found the fresh angle, said later: “From our position, he [Kane] was clearly offside. It depends where the camera is. If the camera is not in line it is difficult to judge whether he is offside or not.”
The VAR for the semi-final first leg, based at the broadcast centre at Stockley Park, west London, was referee Chris Kavanagh, one of the country’s leading young officials and recently entrusted with last month’s Merseyside derby. He also gave the penalty for Newport County against Leicester City at the weekend in the FA Cup third round.
Kavanagh was shown only the angle of the incident broadcast by Sky Sports during the game which was not, as Sarri later pointed out, in line with the last Chelsea defender, Cesar Azpilicueta. The angle that Sarri’s team had found was in line, showed the offside line at a right angle to the touchline. While Kane’s feet were onside, his upper body appeared to have crossed the line.