THE Video Assistant Referee (VAR) PROBLEM

As we all would of seen and I’m pretty sure we have all debated at one point or another the use of video technology in football. It has currently been used in high profile internationals, the u20 world cup and of course the confederations cup. It has been highly controversial to say the least just like we expected.

One of the concerns is the complete element of confusion it brings. The fans have no idea whatsoever of whats happening and why. Which distances us from the feel of the game as we are part of the game whether you’re an armchair supporter or a proper fan. It also brings confusion on the field as they are spending far too much time debating if its needed and the players are waiting around wondering what’s going on a minute after celebrating which you really can’t have in games of magnitude. Which really isn’t acceptable really, is it?

How is it fixed is simple. The more communication heard between the ref and ‘upstairs ref’, the more communication there is for the audience, the more we start to understand and want video assistant referees.

My second point is about the circumstances it is used in. I have seen it used a lot for offside decisions which seems to defeat the object of the assistant. I have been a Lino before and of course sometimes it’s difficult and even harder with top speed players. But not every single decision. It should NOT by any means be used as reassurance in my opinion. Only when the ref or the Lino on any decision goes I have no idea, I need help instead of I think this but I’m going to have a check. The laws need clarifying. I have no problems using it for offside’s as well as any other decision around the pitch in terms of fouls or possible red cards. But only for debated or close decisions that they need clarification on. Never for reassurance a lot like how the rugby system is used.

It shouldn’t be used on every decision otherwise it defeats the object of a linesman or referee and even then its not perfect. The ref just knows he can go to var then every time just incase he is wrong. Which is surely the point of the human game. It just seems that right now FIFA are on the right track but on the wrong train. If we are lucky they all change before we are too late and football no longer is the mans game.

In my opinion there are five simple ways to do this:

1. Either fans hear the conversation between ref and var guys in stadium and on TV or see it and screens supplied to grounds and seem by viewers.

2. The decision must be made almost immediately with the whistle blown or the assistant signal.

3. Improve referee training and clarify the rules.

4. Clarify the usage of it
-VAR used in any circumstance on field but only if the ref doesn’t know. The ref does not over rule the linesman. Must be agreed by ref only to go var or assistant for offside’s.

5. Use it how it is used in rugby and cricket who highly respect their referees and umpires and is successful and doesn’t kill the excitement out of games which shouldn’t matter as long as it’s fair. Just no appeal related stuff, that really is so barking up the wrong tree.

Simple but effective points.

We have wanted VAR for so long and how it is used at the moment is wrong but it can change and it does its for the right of the game. However it is looking unlikely and I hate the idea of testing it in the efl just because of the lower leagues and it seems irrelevant. Thats another debate anyway.

VAR can aid the game so much but it can kill it if used dangerously which at this moment in time its doing. But if we follow the points of:
1 fixing communication
2 decision making time
3 referee training
4 clarity of use
5 compare to other sports

It can make the games a better game to have. We all want it fair

As I said Fifa are on the right tracks but the wrong train it would seem and a station is coming up.

Its in your hands Fifa
Fix it for the love of the game .

Please on behalf of football fans everywhere.

Thank you

Please do comment on here or on twitter. Always happy to continue the debate @borofccentral

featured image credit FIFA