Ex-Chelsea and Manchester United star Nemanja Matic voices support for Serbian referee ‘banned for life’ after using video on fan’s phone to rule out offside goal

A Serbian referee has been banned for life after conducting a budget version of VAR using a fan’s phone to overturn a decision.

But there has been an outpouring of support for the official – including from former Serbian Premier League star Nemanja Matic.


The referee conducted his own version of VAR

Matic, who left Manchester United at the end of last season, came to defend the referee


Matic, who left Manchester United at the end of last season, came to defend the referee

A clip of referee Stefan Lazovic has gone viral after an incident in a Serbian lower league match – much to the horror of the country’s football chiefs.

The footage showed Lazovic watching a video of an awarded goal on a fan’s phone during the game.

It shows him then choosing to rule out the goal – much to the delight of fans watching.

Serbian football officials were unimpressed, however, with The Sun reporting that he was banned for life for his antics.

But the decision to relieve Lazovic of his services sparked fury from fans – so much so that even former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Matic came out to support his compatriot.

In a post written in support of the referee on Instagram, the now Roma star commented with a raised hands emoji, showing he acknowledged Lazovic had been roughed up.

“Support Stefan Lazovic!” said the message from ftbl.serbia.

“Why should he even suffer, why such a harsh sentence, why a life ban on trial? How is it possible that there is no penalty for the delegate and all other FS authorities responsible for this district?

“How could the match be allowed to be played without an assistant referee?! Who is responsible here? Why does Stefan’s spear break?

“At the end of the day, the fact that he watched the video and changed his decision just shows that he wanted everything to be RIGHT!

“He talks about the fact that he was not a slave to his vanity, but he admitted and corrected his mistake.”

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