The technology has not been well received in its first year of implementation in the league.

The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Premier League 2019-20 campaign had a lot of promise to begin with. However, as the season has progressed, the controversies surrounding the technology and the decisions it has taken has only grown by the day.

From penalties awarded, penalties overturned, suspicious handballs and marginal offside calls, the fans have seen it all. The continued inconsistencies and the implementation of the technology is leading to a rise in discontentment among the fans.

There have been several head-turning controversial calls made by the VAR officials in the course of the season and we have compiled five of the most shocking incidents from Premier League 2019-20. Here’s a look:

5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s dismissal against Crystal Palace

In a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, Arsenal’s skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was shown a red card after VAR’s interruption. The Gabonese international fouled Max Meyer near the touchline but the challenge was not deemed too intense by the referee, who dished out a yellow card to the forward.

However, the attempt was reviewed for a whole two minutes before it was reviewed to be dangerous foul play and as a result, Aubameyang was shown a straight red. The decision came as a shock to all the fans in the Selhurst Park.

Premier League 2019-20: VAR official failed to take the intent of the tackle

The argument against the call was that the VAR official failed to take the intent of the tackle into account and it initially wasn’t an outright mistake from the referee.

4. Raheem Sterling escaping a sending off against Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester City recently lost their sixth game of the campaign against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur. As has been the trait in recent encounters between these two sides, the match was again dominated by VAR incidents, causing a lot of uproars.

Raheem Sterling was seen stamping on Dele Alli and was given a yellow card by the referee, however, VAR reviewed it for a potential dangerous foul play.

The challenge was very similar to the one that got Aubameyang sent-off against Crystal Palace, but this time around, the VAR official agreed with Mike Dean. The inconsistency caused a lot of Spurs fans to voice their frustration.

Premier League 2019-20: If Aubameyang’s sending off was justified then it should have been a red card

Moreover, Raheem Sterling was again involved later when VAR denied City a second penalty after it was deemed the winger was not fouled by Hugo Lloris. Interestingly, Sterling was not shown a second yellow for simulation and dodged a suspension, leading to protests from Mourinho on the touchline.

3. The controversial penalty in Everton’s encounter against Brighton & Hove Albion

In the earlier fixture between the two, the visitors Everton were 2-1 ahead when Michael Keane was adjudged to have fouled Aaron Connoly inside the box as he ‘stamped on him’ while going to head an aerial ball. The decision came as a real shocker, as the defender had his eyes on the ball and there was faintest of contacts with the forward.

To make matters more controversial, the Premier League later admitted that a mistake was made on their part after the penalty was awarded on the advice of the VAR official, Lee Mason. Apparently, the mistake on the official’s part led to Everton losing that game, thus putting more pressure on then-manager Marco Silva who was later sacked from his position.

2. Declan Rice’s handball incident overturning a late equaliser

Earlier in January, West Ham United were denied a late equaliser by the VAR after Declan Rice accidentally handled the ball before Robert Snodgrass slotted the ball into the back of the net. According to the new handball rules, even an accidental contact between the hand and the ball in the build-up to the goal is deemed as a foul.

This incident prompted the Premier League fans to point out inconsistencies with the way VAR was being operated. Two incidents involving Liverpool players were highlighted. In the victory against Man City, the ball had clearly hit Trent-Alexander Arnold’s left-hand before Liverpool scored at the other end within a couple of minutes.

Another incident involved a goal against Wolves by Sadio Mane where a handball against Adam Lallana was reviewed but VAR failed to pick up Virgil Van Dijk’s handling of the ball just prior to the Lallana incident.

1. Roberto Firmino’s “armpit” offside

Earlier this season in November, Liverpool faced Aston Villa and secured all three points with a 2-1 away victory thanks to late goals from Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson. However, the game was talked about for an entirely different reason, which was an unusual offside decision adjudged by VAR review on Roberto Firmino.

Premier League 2019-20: It was a shocking decision

The Brazillian was denied a goal after it was reviewed that the ball had hit his armpit before it was slotted in the back of the net. The officials adjudged his armpit to be in an offside position as it fell in line with the offside margins on the monitor, being ahead of Villa’s last defender.