THE much-vaunted first use of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) in a competitive game in English football last week turned out to be a non-event.

The only controversy in the FA Cup tie between Brighton and Crystal Palace was the winning goal by former Palace and Reading striker Glenn Murray.

Some Palace players protested he had used his arm to propel the ball over the line.

Referee, Andre Marriner, didn’t think so, but checked on his intercom with his video watching colleague. He was told that there was no question of handball, so he didn’t even bother to check on the pitch-side monitor.

Although a first in this country, several national leagues around the world have been trialling VAR for the whole season.

FIFA hope to use it in this year's World Cup, although its reception has been mixed.

In Germany, the head of the system was sacked and there have also been some difficulties expressed in Portugal and Italy.

In Australia, similar comments were made that viewing the monitors took too long. This gave rise to a suggestion that pitch-side monitors shouldn’t be used, with the VAR making the decision.

In North America, where they are more used to technology being used in sport, the reception has been more favourable, with former Premier League and World Cup referee Howard Webb introducing it at the MLS.

There has been a slightly different suggestion there, that referees are sticking to their decisions after viewing the monitor, as they don’t want to accept they have made a mistake.

I don’t think that is true, referees want the decisions to be right.

I was assistant referee recently at a match which was videoed. A penalty was given down in my corner but the defenders claimed it was outside the penalty area.

I gave the referee my view that it was inside, but after the game he asked to see the video. He wanted to know if the decision was correct. I think that matters most to referees.