Stories From the Vault

VAR Gets Worse

By Posted in - Analysis & Football Philosophy & Rants on July 31st, 2019 0 Comments

My comments an VAR were miles off the mark: I didn’t foresee the real problem with it’s introduction being the rabble off the field screaming “CONSPIRACY” when things don’t go their way under review. During the Women’s World Cup and the Copa America we saw straight forward decisions covered by black and white regulations decried as biased. A player takes a swan dive in stride over an outstretched leg, VAR shows there was no contact and yet the lack of a call causes outrage. Perhaps the diver was breathed upon or the defender used a Force Push but one set of supporters refused to accept multiple angles showing air between the defender and the floppier.

A goalkeeper doesn’t position herself legally for a spot kick, something crystal clear in every replay, and it is retaken to howls of outrage. The outraged proclaim the unfairness of it all, apparently players aren’t expected to actually know the rules under which they play…at least by their supporters. That idea is absurd even at the lowest levels of the organized game, let alone the World Cup, and yet some people actually believe such idiocy. Many supporters are so blinded by their loyalty they argue against enforcing rules when it suits them.

I support VAR for rules governing offside, ball out of play, and other such black and white issues. Unfortunately rather than making such decisions clear cut and accepted by both sides we are going to end up with even more whining about bias. Before they could blame the referee as the agent of their failure but now VAR adds another layer to the conspiracy where “obvious” missed calls for fouls that didn’t actually occur are ignored by multiple levels of review. There are some countries and clubs with a perpetual persecution complex and VAR will reinforce their sense of unjust officially enforced inferiority.


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