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Controversial VAR review downgrades Haiti red card to yellow

(Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)

The first-ever VAR decision in the Concacaf W Championship was a controversial one, with the game’s referee overturning a red card against Haiti’s Roselord Borgella.

Borgella initially was called for a red after entering a tackle with a high boot, raking down USWNT defender Kelley O’Hara’s side. Upon VAR review, the call was downgraded to a yellow card to account for Borgella’s bent knee.

The move spurred discussion on social media, with reporters and fans questioning the call.

“Folks, I can’t believe that,” wrote Jeff Kassouf of The Equalizer on Twitter. “Dragging the studs down the side, starting at the shoulder.”

Meaghen Johnson of TSN was also surprised by the downgrade, calling Borgella’s challenge a “reckless play.”

Claire Watkins of JWS added her voice to the chorus, Tweeting a link to a photo of O’Hara’s injuries.

Jason Anderson of Pro Soccer Wire wrote, “Intent not an issue at all here, this is a one billion percent red card.”

VAR continued to be a topic of conversation throughout Monday’s tournament opener. The match official upheld a no-call against Mallory Pugh after she was taken down inside the box and waived off a USWNT goal, calling Megan Rapinoe offside upon review.