VAR breakdown hits Rennes-Toulouse match amid penalty controversy

M'Baye Niang scores from the spot for Rennes after a controversial incident against Toulouse. LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

The referee of Sunday's Ligue 1 match between Rennes and Toulouse was unable to review a penalty award after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology broke down.

Thomas Leonard pointed to the spot when Toulouse defender Jean-Clair Todibo challenged Rennes forward Mbaye Niang inside the area.

He was surrounded by Toulouse players asking him to review the decision using VAR, which is being deployed in Ligue 1 for the first time this season.

Leonard was unable to do so or receive help from his VAR colleagues because although they could see ordinary TV images, which showed that Todibo had won the ball, those images are not viable for match decisions.

"The fourth official came to me a dozen minutes before the end of the first half to tell me the VAR wasn't working," Toulouse boss Alain Casanova told reporters.

"[Rennes coach] Sabri Lamouchi and the two captains were called in at half-time to confirm that to us. There was a problem, it's as simple as that. It could have cost us dearly."

Toulouse defender Christopher Jullien said: "The referee told me: 'I can't go back on my decision, the VAR isn't working. Your defender took the ball, but it's a penalty.' What do you want me to say to that?"

Niang scored the penalty, but Todibo headed a late equaliser to earn Toulouse a point.