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VAR sends off Kaka as Brazilian jokes with opposing defender

Kaka sent off in ridiculous shenanigans at the end of match in MLS.

Major League Soccer has never been known for its officiating, and the league’s mid-season addition of video assistant refereeing was suppose to correct mistakes made by officials. The VAR has helped some, but last weekend’s match between Orlando City and New York Red Bulls experienced a bit of a twist thanks to the new system.

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With New York leading late in the fixture, tempers became heated as Orlando slipped to their fourth loss in five matches. After a foul was given in favour of Orlando, both sides scrambled for the ball and a shoving match between Orlando’s Cristian Higuita and New York’s Sean Davis ensued. Both received yellow cards after the match official consulted with video replay.

Referee Jorge Gonzalez wasn’t done there, however. The MLS official spotted another infraction, this one on the part of the league’s highest paid player Kaka, and gave the Brazilian a straight red card. During the melee, Kaka had foolishly put his hands on former teammate, and current New York defender Aurelian Collin’s face. The two ex-teammates were laughing and joking as things played out, but Gonzalez wasn’t. The official sent off the Orlando prankster much to everyone’s protest.

MLS only just instituted VAR in August after playing around two-thirds of the season without it. The league had experimented with the system in preseason back in February and March, but only decided to implement it as August began.

The league became one of the first leagues to institute VAR to help the match official. The German Bundesliga was set to be one of the first adopters of the program until MLS suddenly brought it into use a few weeks ago. Australia’s A-League was the first football league to use the video referee, and it got great reviews down under during the season.

Despite criticisms against the use of VAR, several games this season in England and the UEFA Super Cup match would have benefited from its use.

Want me MLS news and views? Check out writer Drew Farmer on Radio Yorkshire talking about football… err… soccer… stateside. 

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