Referee sparks controversy in Bolivian league after using non-existent VAR to award late penalty

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A referee caused outrage during a top flight match in Bolivia after appearing to award a penalty using VAR, despite the technology not being available in the division.

The spot kick was given late on in the clash between Bolivian Primera Division sides Club Always Ready and Bolivar after the referee Raul Orosco consulted the fourth official.

The referee appeared to gesture that he used VAR

The referee appeared to gesture that he used VAR

The referee’s decision sparked utter chaos on the pitch

The referee’s decision sparked utter chaos on the pitch

The hosts squandered the resulting penalty

The hosts squandered the resulting penalty

Footage of the incident appeared to show the referee using the VAR gesture as an explanation to his decision, only to quickly realise that the league doesn’t use it.

The moment carried extra significance as it gave the hosts a last-gasp lifeline in the dying embers of the game – which they trailed 1-0.

Unsurprisingly, the decision sparked chaotic scenes on the pitch, with furious Bolivar players surrounding the official to plead for an explanation.

The match descended into chaos to such an extent that riot police were called to the scene to intervene and attempt to diffuse the situation.

Incredibly, the penalty awarded to the hosts was squandered by Club Always Ready’s William Ferreira, with his strike hitting the right-hand post, and Bolivar then rode out remaining seconds of the game to cling on to the victory.

VAR technology is currently only used in the Brazilian top flight in South America.

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