VAR – Help or Hindrance?

With the fourth round of FA cup action coming to an end, football fans around the globe have now witnessed the second week of the all new VAR system. It has shown it’s brilliance and it has also shown it’s hinderance but one thing is for certain it’s majorly dividing opinions and with the news that FIFA have confirmed it will be used at the 2018 World Cup, it looks like it is here to stay.

Only yesterday Craig Pawson, the man in the middle for Liverpool’s home tie against West Brom hit the headlines for his dismal display including three key talking points. Pawson used the system to rule not only an Albion opener out but also hand Liverpool a penalty as well as double checking a West Brom goal leading to a large stoppage in play. Admittedly the system prevailed and meant all three decisions were correctly given, although questions have got to be asked as to why it took so long to make them? In fact, Baggies manager Alan Pardew has already criticised the pitch side screen revealing he felt injuries to Hal Robson-Kanu and Kieran Gibbs were caused purely because of the long stoppages in play that the system causes.

Despite it’s early criticism the controversial decision maker has proved its worth. Kelechi Iheanacho’s goal against Fleetwood in the last round was correctly given after initially being ruled out as offside, this being the historical first goal that fell to the VAR system to give and overturn the linesman.

However, during last nights 2-3 away win at Anfield the systems faults were on show and it isn’t the first time. The main problem that has emerged in relation to the newly installed decision maker is the time it relies on for the referee to judge the replays. Indeed it was reported that all the incidents which were passed over to the technology accumulated a stoppage of around 12 minutes yet there were only 4 minutes of added time in each half. The West Brom penalty decision lasted 5 minutes alone so surely something must be done to resolves the added time issue. Furthermore in another of the 4 FA cup games the system has been used in, the Chelsea vs Norwich replay left Chelsea boss Antonio Conte furious. Even Norwich defender Timm Klose admitted after the game he felt he had fouled Willianin in the box, nevertheless after the decision was handed to the video assistant referee, Willian was booked for diving.

Ultimately, the system will carry on to divide opinion for as long as it lasts and now that the VAR has been installed for the summer World Cup, footy fans most definitely haven’t seen the end of the newest addition to the game they love.

What are your thoughts on the introduction of VAR in England? Let us know in the comments below!

featured image credit SkySports