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Football News: My 2 cents on Video Assistant Referee (VAR)

My 2 cents on Video Assistant Referee (VAR)
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Since the VAR fever is high, thought i'd give my 2 cents worth.

According to the PL, VAR is used for 4 key situations:
1) Goals
2) Penalties
3) Straight red cards
4) Mistaken identity
The under-girding principle is VAR will only overturn clear and obvious errors, BUT this principle DOES NOT apply to OFFSIDE.

There is much to talk about all 4 situations but my take on #1 (goal-checking) is this:

- almost every goal is being checked now and it really kills the atmosphere and flow of the game. while we all want the most accurate decisions, that totally isn't happening right now, which makes this disruption absolutely unworthy

- while offside in theory is clear-cut, you're either on or off, but in reality the technology simply isn't good enough to make close calls at the moment due to camera angles, timing (if you want to make calls on millimeters, then you need to be sensitive to milliseconds and the faintest of touches at the moment the ball is played) . there was a video that emerged showing that pacy players with well-timed runs will more often than not be judged as offside due to the limitations of the current technology.

- staying on offside within the context of phase of play, when does it start, when does it end? is it duration of play? some plays are over within seconds while others can take 30 passes, so how does it work out?

- and because the asst. ref are asked to keep their flags down, how does it work out if there are a couple of offsides during the lead up but say the final 5 passes were fine? wouldn't the attacking team have an unfair advantage to be able to shift the opponent around until the space emerges until the final ball?

- given the technology simply isn't good enough to make such tight calls, and the confusion that ensues when asst. refs are asked to withhold raising their flags, my suggestion is to:

i) let the asst. refs do their jobs. raise their flags when they judge an offside has occurred. there will bound to be marginal errors, let's leave with it. let the fans debate about something that cannot be conclusively settled just as it has always been until technology can eliminate this human error to a more significant level.

ii) for now, VAR should only be used on CLEAR AND OBVIOUS errors even for offside.
Milner vs West Ham last season was clear and obvious, VAR to chalk it off. Villa's and Firmino's goal yesterday wasnt, leave it to the asst ref to call. (yes, in the context of yesterday, Firmino's goal would still be chalked off, but i can live with that kind of human error. yes, benefit of doubt should go to the attacker. but between taking it on the chin for a marginal human error and a clearly falsified VAR decision, i choose the former)

i believe via this way, asst refs cannot rest on their laurels, they'll still need to make the best calls they can and this demands for them to take responsibility and be competent. also, it eliminates the 'phase of play' confusion as well since they are asked to make decisions at all times rather waiting for a goal to be scored before any check is done.


In the unfortunate event when a clear and obvious offside leads to a goal, the goal can always be chalked off.

*And when a clearly good goal is scored but wrongly flagged for offside?
1) players are to always play to the whistle
2) let the goal stand as possible if no one gained any unfair advantage or is compromised by unfair disadvantages
3) perhaps the attacking team to be awarded a freekick if they had been wrongly judged?

I note the points in '*' are not yet refine and welcome others' inputs too.

but all in all, there's much more thinking through needed in the implementation of VAR and i think the powers that be simply hasn't done their homework and pilot tested adequately to make it work, henceforth the farce everyone is treated to now.

Written by sgynwa November 03 2019 14:50:51