Raging Daniel Farke reopens Leeds United and Leicester City debate

Daniel Farke on the touchline at Carrow Road during Leeds' play-off semi-final draw with Norwich
Daniel Farke on the touchline at Carrow Road during Leeds' play-off semi-final draw with Norwich -Credit:Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Leicester City and Ipswich get to watch the Championship play-offs in peace knowing their promotion place is already sealed. But if VAR had been in use this season, one of them would still be fighting it out for a Premier League spot.

That’s according to Leeds United boss Daniel Farke, who believes his side would have finished in the top two had VAR been in play. He says he has received 12 letters of apology this season for decisions over offside goals and penalties that should have gone Leeds’ way.

Instead, Leeds are competing in the play-offs, and Farke was irritated further by another call that went against his side in their goalless semi-final first leg at Norwich on Sunday. Junior Firpo netted after half-hour, but Georginio Rutter was deemed offside in the build-up.

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“I expect myself to be spot on with my decisions when there is so much at stake,” Farke said. “If you want to be in charge of such a (big) game, you have to do the same if you are an official.

“I have 12 apologising letters at home already during the season with offside goals and penalties not given. If we would have used VAR during this season we wouldn't be in the play-offs, we would have been promoted automatically.

“I’m pretty annoyed, it definitely wasn’t offside. I feel like we should go with the rule that, when in doubt, you give the benefit to the attacking side. Everyone speaks about what these games are worth, so the decisions have to be right. Perhaps the whole stadium would be moaning if he gave it to the away side, but I have to make sure I’m not raging too much.

“Overall I’m happy with a draw and a clean sheet. Obviously the last few games of the regular season were not great because we conceded way too many goals, but today we were rock solid.”

Enzo Maresca may feel he has similar complaints that can be made. The Italian expressed his frustration at a few controversial moments during the season, most notably the call not to award City penalty for Cameron Burgess’s tackle on Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in the 1-1 draw at Ipswich on Boxing Day, and the decision not to give Coventry’s Kasey Palmer a second yellow card during the 3-1 defeat in the M69 Derby, an incident that came with City ahead 1-0.

City were also unfortunate in their defeat at Leeds. Leading 1-0, Patson Daka then turned the ball into the net after a scramble from a corner before being flagged offside. Replays showed it was the incorrect decision. Leeds went on to win 3-1.

Both play-off semi-finals finished goalless. Leeds play Norwich at Elland Road on Thursday for a place at Wembley, and then it’s Southampton against West Brom at St Mary’s on Friday night. The final is on Sunday, May 26.

Who would you like to see win the Championship play-offs? Let us know in the comments section below.