Nani red card: When former Man United star was left in tears after harsh VAR call

  • Rob Swan

It’s safe to say that the arrival of VAR has changed football as we used to know it.

A large number of football fans across the globe would argue that the technology has changed football for the worse.

In leagues across the planet, we’ve seen countless baffling decisions where referees have consulted VAR and reached bizarre conclusions.

Things appear to have improved a little bit at the start of the 2021-22 season, though, while VAR was also used on a smarter basis throughout the European Championships.

There have been so many bad VAR decisions over the past couple of years that it feels unfair focusing on one in particular, but one of the most controversial calls that we’ve seen so far involved the former Manchester United star Nani.


The Portuguese winger was playing for Orlando City in a Major League Soccer clash against Columbus Crew in November 2020 when the incident occurred.

Nani appeared to win the ball following a challenge on Artur during Orlando’s 2-1 victory but was shown a yellow card by referee Ramy Toucan.


The match official was then urged to review the incident on the pitch-side monitor by the VAR and this resulted in Nani’s yellow card being upgraded to a straight red.

Nani’s teammates were left furious by the decision while the man himself was visibly shocked and devastated.

Emotions got the better of the veteran winger, who walked off the pitch in floods of tears.


Watch the footage here:

It’s decisions like this that have left many fans pleading for VAR to be scrapped altogether.

Given how much money that’s been invested in the controversial technology, though, that seems pretty unlikely at this point.


Nani’s red card was later rescinded by MLS’s Independent Review Panel.

The former Premier League star, who turns 35 in November, is still plying his trade with Orlando City in MLS.


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