(Reuters) - Women's Super League players are being treated like "second-class citizens" due to the absence of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system and goal line technology, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said.
Champions Chelsea lost 3-2 to Arsenal on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium as the new season of the women's league -- which now has a major new broadcast deal https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/with-new-tv-deal-brands-see-value-womens-league-deals-2021-09-03 -- got underway.
Hayes said there were plenty of positives for the league, especially with over 8,000 fans in attendance, but was less pleased about the lack of technology to help officials after Arsenal striker Bethany Mead looked offside before she scored the winner.
"The negative is that by putting our product in such a brilliant place, everyone is asking why we don't have goal line technology or why we don't have VAR," Hayes told reporters.
"I heard that there was a conversation around it not being a priority because it's really expensive, but I think we're selling our game short.
"We have all got used to VAR and goal line technology, so I feel by not having it in the women's game is like being second-class citizens."
VAR, which was used at the 2019 women's World Cup, made its debut in the Premier League in the 2019-20 season. Goal line technology has been in place in the men's top flight since the 2013-14 season.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)