Replaying Anderlecht v Genk after refereeing mistake will create a nightmare situation for the Belgian Pro League

In a landmark decision this past month, the Disciplinary Council for Professional Football decided to replay the match between Anderlecht and Genk after the VAR referee made a mistake during a penalty. The incident occurred after winger Yira Sor fired in from a rebound past Anderlecht goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel seconds after Bryan Heynen’s penalty miss. But the goal was ruled out following a VAR check as replays showed Sor was inside the penalty area. However, the replays also showed encroachment, with two Anderlecht players inside the penalty area as the spot-kick was being taken.

Yet this decision is now set to create a precedent that the Pro League is going to struggle to keep a grip of. Already clubs are asking for replays. During the time that Genk were calling for the game to be replayed, Club Brugge have also been vocal about a decision that happened during their 0-0 draw with KV Mechelen.

Now RWDM have also joined the chorus of those who want a game to be replayed. After what seemed a clear handball was turned down by both referee and VAR, although the latter did call the former over to have a look, the Brussels side are looking into filing a complaint. The game ended 3-1, but at the time of the incident the sides were level. During their complaint, the club made direct reference to the ruling that was passed down in the Genk matter.

Belgian football is now spiralling towards a situation where every week there will be potential for clubs to seek for games to be replayed, clearly a completely untenable situation for any professional league to have to manage. Referee’s will also come under increased pressure. The introduction of VAR was supposed to clean up the clear and obvious mistakes, but in Belgium it has now opened up a can of worms that are unlikely to be returned anytime soon.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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