For many, VAR is the scourge of modern football.
It’s bizarre application was there for all to see in the Tottenham vs Liverpool game on Sunday, when Andy Robertson was shown a red card for an awful challenge but Harry Kane, whose tackle on the Scot was a sending off offence in anybody’s book, was not.
For punters, VAR can be both a blessing and a course, but for one lucky acca backer video technology would – indirectly – lead him to a fantastic £2,732.67 payday….despite one leg losing on their betslip.
The plucky Gary Weir had stuck on a 14-fold accumulator that included a variety of result and goals-based selections. Incredibly, 13 of the selections sailed home:
- Man City to beat Wolves – 1-0
- Arsenal to beat Southampton – 3-0
- Chelsea to beat Leeds United – 3-2
- Liverpool to beat Aston Villa – 1-0
- Man Utd to beat Norwich – 1-0
- Sporting to beat Boavista – 2-0
- Bayern Munich vs Mainz: Over 2.5 Goals – 2-1
- Fiorentina vs Salernitana: Over 1.5 Goals – 4-0
- Venezia vs Juventus: Over 1.5 Goals – 1-1
- Udinese vs AC Milan: Over 1.5 Goals – 1-1
- Freiburg vs Hoffenheim: Over 1.5 Goals – 1-2
- Wolfsburg vs Stuttgart: Over 1.5 Goals – 0-2
- RB Leipzig vs M’gladbach: Over 1.5 Goals – 4-1
So all was well in the world, until Borussia Dortmund’s trip to Bochum.
Our hero backed the Over 2.5 Goals line in this game, and given that that had landed in six of the two teams’ combined last eight outings, it’s a selection that seemed fair enough.
It was an action-packed game, but after 40 minutes the punter must have been fearing the worst – the score was still 0-0.
But then Bochum were awarded a penalty, and Sebastian Polter stepped up to oblige for the hosts – game on.
The second half saw the crucial moment that would, at first at least, break our hero’s heart. Dortmund notched an equaliser halfway through the period, but after a consultation of VAR it was adjudged – rather harshly, it has to be said – that Jude Bellingham was impeding the Bochum goalkeeper in an offside position, despite not touching the ball.
The ‘goal’ was chalked off, and while Julian Brandt would find a late equaliser for Dortmund, the game ended 1-1….ending the punters’ hopes of a glorious pre-Christmas payout.
That is, until the unlikeliest of knights in shining armour appeared….
Berba to the Rescue
Betfair have appointed former Tottenham and Manchester United ace Dimitar Berbatov as a brand ambassador for the 2021/22 campaign.
Part of his remit is to judge on questionable decisions as part of the #VARbatov campaign, and the Bulgarian decided that this unlucky punter deserved their payday – despite it costing the firm the best part of three grand.
“I saw the Dortmund game and the goal should have stood,” Berbatov reasoned. “If I scored that and it was disallowed, I would be devastated.
“Getting 13 legs right and being let down by one thanks to that decision is tough, I feel their pain, but I have spoken to the people at Betfair and they have agreed to pay them out as a winner, after all it’s only fair.”
Berbatov has now played his part in more than 300 bets being re-settled this term.