Levante explodes against VAR: 'All our effort was for nothing...'

Javier Calleja complained about a penalty not given in favor of his team after the home defeat of Espanyol, sealed at 90+9', from the conversion of a penalty kick.

SoccerDino, Website Writer
Published: 11:42, 5 Feb 2024

Javier Calleja, the coach of Levante, expressed strong criticism of the VAR's performance following his team's defeat against Espanyol on Sunday in the 25th round of the Spanish second division.

During a press conference, the Spanish coach voiced his dissatisfaction with a penalty decision that was not awarded in favor of his team at the end of the match, especially after Espanyol secured a victory with a penalty scored at the 90+9' mark.

"With the performance we were putting in... the penalty couldn't have been any clearer. It's a yes on one side and a no on the other. The handball situation can be quite complicated, but in that particular play, he extended his arm, and it clearly struck the ball. For those who choose not to see it... The other incident is also a penalty, but they both are," he passionately argued, visibly frustrated.

"We're extremely frustrated, and we just can't comprehend it. He [the referee] claims that he wasn't prompted by the VAR and that, in real-time, it didn't seem very clear to him, so there was nothing we could do.

I understand that the referee might have had doubts, but with VAR... It's [the incident] so glaringly obvious that I can't fathom why they didn't instruct him to review it and make a decision. We delivered a tremendous performance, one of our finest, and all our efforts went to waste. I simply don't understand," he concluded.

Despite the defeat, Levante remains in the ninth position in the league, with 37 points, trailing by three points from the promotion spots. Espanyol currently occupies fourth place with 41 points.

Updated: 11:42, 5 Feb 2024