VAR Technology: Can it save football?
This is an interesting argument that encompasses clashing ideas of modern football. The first describes a form of amusement that needs strong rules in order to thrive, the second has a more traditional idea of sport with the most important objective being victory.
In a normal match of football, referees have to be infallible. They are the dictators of an oppressive regime – their decision is always right, regardless of how bizzare that decision is. Everyone knows Maradona used his hand to score in the quarter-finals of World Cup 1986, but officially, according to FIFA, he used his head, because the referee said so. Moreover like a dictator, this particular amount of power can lead to paranoia: any time a player confides with him, the referee doesn’t know he’s doing the right thing so because the player is trying to cheat the system or because the referee has genuinely made a hugely embarrassing blunder that will get them lambasted online and TV houses countdowns for years and generations to come.
VAR technology was trialed during some matches in the 2017/2018 season; Referees use of video replays caused controversies while apparently ensuring correct decisions were made, they disrupted the flow of the match and even denied fans the chance to properly celebrate a goal. For some, this was too much technology. For others, however, it was not enough.
VAR could conceivably rule out (inevitable) oversight on the part of officials. It might help to reduce dangerous tackles within the game. Extending video technology to incidents where the punishments could be substantial seems logical. But it is also against one of the main principles of VAR: solely the fact that it is used for decisions not dependable to interpretation.
When a referee knows he is capable of reviewing a decision, it becomes unnecessarily less arbitrary. At this point, everyone has more faith in the system, so there are fewer frustrated mistakes, and less of a need for a referee to stamp their authority on the game. That’s borne out by the stats: with no red cards in the matches, this will officially be the cleanest talking point about the round leather sport in ages
VAR allows referees to be full of defective, and in doing so promotes a loosely fresh idea – that it’s totally okay for an authority frame to change their mind when presented with reformed information. In recent politics, politicians and pundits are worshipped with picking a position and steadfastly sticking to it – any admission of adamancy or fallibility is leapt on as a sign of vulnerability. That’s why FIFA thinks there is a dividend in the hosting rights proposed by USA, Mexico and Canada even when it was proven otherwise.
In a strange way, VAR (Video Assistant referee) shows us that there’s strength and that in the near future, people will owe up to mistakes. If the fans will stop equating them with fragile reeks and allow everyone to admit that they are human, the football world will have a less divided, less angry fan base. Conclusively, we can make our loved game a paradise of VARanium.
This article was written by Alex Ndace; he tweets via @AlexNdace