December 23, 2019 / 4:44 PM / a month ago

Mourinho bemoans Son ban and VAR use in Premier League

(Reuters) - Son Heung-min’s unavailability due to a three-match ban for a red card in Sunday’s 2-0 Premier League defeat by Chelsea is a big loss for Tottenham Hotspur, manager Jose Mourinho said on Monday.

Son kicked out in retaliation at Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger and referee Anthony Taylor produced a straight red card after a VAR review, leaving Spurs with 10 men for the last half hour.

Mourinho confirmed Spurs would be appealing Son’s red card ahead of three games in seven days starting with Brighton & Hove Albion’s visit on Thursday.

“It would be a big loss, we don’t have a big squad,” Mourinho told reporters. “We don’t have lots of players.

“This is a moment where it is normal to think about rotations and very difficult situations for players to play every game. We don’t have (Erik) Lamela and it’s a big loss for us.”

Mourinho was adamant the incident should not have been referred to VAR because Taylor had seen the incident.

“It’s the wrong call,” Mourinho said. “This is England, this is the Premier League, this is the best competition in the world, with characteristics that if we change them we are killing the best league in the world.

“Taylor had the feeling, he was there, he saw it clearly so I think it’s the wrong call. Then it’s with things like this that people don’t like the VAR, because with penalties like that everybody likes VAR.

“When it’s a clear and obvious mistake everyone says ‘welcome VAR’...It’s clear, clear. So for me that’s the VAR that I like and yesterday on the Son red card, the VAR that I hate.”

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - December 22, 2019 Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho reacts Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

Rudiger was a victim of alleged racial abuse shortly after Son was sent off and the defender has called for the guilty fans to be punished.

Mourinho said that society needs help in eradicating racism but that the entire Spurs fanbase should not be condemned.

“It’s not fair to say Tottenham fans. One Tottenham fan is not Tottenham fans,” he said. “Tottenham fans, at least since I am here... have been phenomenal... respecting the opponents. Incredible behaviour.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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