They made them wait longer than usual, but finally, CONMEBOL released this Wednesday the VAR audios on the controversial annulment of Boca Juniors’ goal against Atlético Mineiro, for the first leg of the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores.
Colombian referee Andrés Rojas had not observed any infraction on the field of play in what was Xeneize’s 1-0 partial, thanks to Diego González’s goal. However, before the call from the VAR commanded by the Paraguayan Derlis López and the insistent demands of the Brazilian team, especially with Nacho Fernández, the referee agreed to review the play.
In the audios the following VAR dialogues are detailed where it is evident how difficult it was to find an action that would invalidate all of the following:
VAR: “Possible offside”
After the repetition they look for a “possible foul in attack” both by Norberto Briasco, and the subsequent one by González.
VAR: “Perfect, goal on court.”
Referee: For me it is a goal “.
VAR: “They claim a possible foul for possible push.”
VAR: “16.50 a possible push I want to see”
“It comes clean. There is no push on this one”, they hold after seeing new replays from a camera and ask for “one from behind and an APP please.”
And they reiterate: “There is no push, I do not see an extended arm (from González in the jump). The contact is due to the action of the game. Shoulder to shoulder.”
Then they roll back the play to the start time:
VAR: “Contact point, it is enabled”.
AVAR (Assistant referee in video operating room): “Look at the entire APP, where it ends and where the other begins.”
VAR: “Back, I want to see a possible offside”, they ask in the repetition, when the center goes to the Mineiro area.
“Enabled, I continued.”
When they arrive at the jump of Pulpo González to head, they observe: “Here the player comes clean, here the player exaggerates (for Mineiro’s). Look at Dani.”
“Feel the contact and drop.”
AVAR: “Don’t we have a back one?”
VAR: “Yes, behind the arch. I want to look at the arm (of the Octopus) behind the arch.”
After another repetition with another camera, the VAR assures: “The arm does not push it. There is no additional movement of the arm.”
“Normal speed (of repetition). Exaggerate, there is no fault.”
AVAR: “For me there is no fault.”
VAR: “The number 23 the goal.”
Referee: “Goal field decision, OK?”
VAR: “How could you see that action from the forward?”
Referee: “Dispute between the two. Play contact.”
VAR: “Perfect Andrés. Both are going to dispute the ball.”
AVAR: “Check before please.”
Referee: “Go ahead, goal confirmed.”
VAR: “We have nothing behind. Goal of 23.”
But with one more repetition, the VAR asks for an observation again: “Wait a while, that blond player (for Briasco)”.
VAR: “Give me (an image) from behind the arch to see the arm.”
“It is a very small contact.”
AVAR: “It can destabilize. Let the referee interpret.”
VAR: “Well, perfect. Call us (the main referee) for this possible foul”, referring to a hand from Briasco on the back of his marker, in the header prior to the goal.
AVAR: “Yes, for this one.”
Referee: “All the players are protesting on the court.”
VAR: “Andrés, I suggest you an OFR (on-court review) for a possible lack in APP. I want you to evaluate.”
As he approached to carry out the review, Andrés Rojas requested the repetitions in “normal speed”. And his first observation was about Briasco’s action: “He pushes the number 29 on the grass. I correct. Foul in favor of the player in white (from Mineiro). He pushes him.”
VAR: “Copied Andrés. Missing number 23”.
Diego González’s goal was consequently annulled, the match between Boca and Atlético Mineiro ended 0-0. After the game, Miguel Angel Russo and the xeneizes players complained about the performance of the Colombian referee, whom CONMEBOL suspended indefinitely on Wednesday.