The operators of the goalline technology system used in the English Premier League apologised for an embarrassing failure on Wednesday.This was after Sheffield United were denied a clear goal in their match against Aston Villa in the restarted 2019/2020 season. In the Premier League’s first match after a 100-day hiatus due to the COVID-19 crisis, Sheffield United were denied through a clumsy defensive mix-up just before half-time.That was when Aston Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland carried the ball back over his own line.“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder said after the game, which was played behind closed doors at Villa Park.“The feeling at the time by everybody, both sets of players and staff, was that of a goal.”Off-balance Aston Villa goalkeeper Nyland caught a curling free-kick but was bundled back over the line by teammate Keinan Davis. Referee Michael Oliver, pointing to his watch, looked to indicate that goalline technology had not verified the ball had crossed the line.This was in spite of what appeared to be clear evidence on TV replays.Hawk-Eye, who operate the goalline system, issued a statement after the game saying the seven cameras in the stands around the goal area were obstructed by the goalkeeper, defender and goalpost.“This level of occlusion has never been seen before in over 9,000 matches that the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system has been in operation,” the company said, while fans furiously vented on social media about the technological slip-up.There was also no intervention from the Video Assistant Referee in spite of the fact that TV viewers were able to see the ball had clearly crossed the line. “Under the IFAB protocol, the VAR is able to check goal situations. However, due to the fact that the on-field match officials did not receive a signal, and the unique nature of that, the VAR did not intervene,” PGMO, the body responsible for match officials in English professional football, said in a separate explanation.Wilder asked to speak to Oliver at halftime.“The referee said it had the feel of a goal but he has to rely on Hawk-Eye. We believe it should have been referred and asked for it,” he said.The draw moved Sheffield United up to sixth place, one point behind Manchester United in fifth.RelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Runarsson joins Arsenal on four-year deal Reuters/NAN.Tags: Aston VillaCOVID-19English Premier LeagueHawk-EyeOrjan NylandSheffield United
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