Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has launched a broadside at Video Assistant Referees (VAR) after his team's New Year's Day defeat to Southampton, saying remote officials have more power than on-field referees over big match decisions.
Spurs lost 1-0 at Southampton with a spectacular Danny Ings goal separating the two sides but Mourinho was fuming over a potential foul on midfielder Dele Alli inside the box in the first half that was not assessed by VAR.
"For me the referees are not the referees," Mourinho told reporters on Wednesday. "I think the VAR should change their name because Video Assistant Referee is not true. It should be VR - Video Referee - because they are the referees.
"You see the refs on pitch and they not the refs, they are the assistants. The other guys in the office are the ones who make the big decisions. What I know is the Dele Alli penalty was a penalty and the VAR didn't interfere."
Mourinho's anger was compounded when VAR assessed another incident where Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy dived at Alli's feet to get to a loose ball and got there first.
Mourinho said the fact that VAR interfered in the second decision, which he acknowledged was not a penalty, was meant to take the focus away from the first decision which should have been analysed instead.
"The direction it is taking us in is really, really wrong," the Portuguese manager added. The result left Spurs in sixth place, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea who occupy the final Champions League spot.