VAR – Much Ado About Nothing

Lets be honest VAR is ruining football as a visual experience especially due to COVID and no fans being in the stadium. What annoys me is that as a process it should work, so why isn’t it?

The main issue is the lack of acceptance that their will always be grey areas, which occurs with any sport using video technology. What sports like American Football fall back on if it’s not clear and obvious then the original decision stands, whether people agree or not. The rules for handball as an example are so confusing and even with VAR comes down to individual interpretation. I like the idea that a ref can still decide so use video tech as an aid rather than the main tool.

The rule makers need to listen to the fans (2020 has shown that people in power do not always know best) and observe how others use replays, therefore here is my view on how VAR is used:

  1. Scrap the ref in the control room, make the referee the sole decider on decisions. If they are in doubt about a decision they can review rather than someone else who may interpret the instance differently advising. This system works for rugby due to the way their sport plays out but football is faster and incidents with mass bodies like scrums does not occur.
  2. Head coaches for each team will possess 3 challenges per game, if they are correct with their challenge then they maintain it.
  3. Offside reviews are timed (15secs) if its not clear and obvious the decision made on the pitch stands.
  4. All refs are recorded with their microphones and when they review the decision they will state the decision.

Keep the system simple over complicating it has made it a mess, the sooner we accept 100% success rate is not going to occur then we can get back to a hybrid of football which suits us all.