Video Assisted Referee (VAR) by SriShyam Juttu

VAR may give their opinion to the referee supervising the game through the earpiece worn by match officials after watching TV replays. The referee on the field will then signal as usual for the verdict or form a shape with their hands to signal an on-field review or gesture that the first decision has been changed. The result is shown on screens around the field to communicate the final decision to spectators. VAR may review 4 types of understandable incidents; Goals, Suspensions, Penalties, and Bookings. VAR may solely give their opinion. The referee has three options; leave their verdict unchanged, accept the VAR's suggestion regarding a verdict, or watch the incident themselves via a TV screen inside the stadium. I feel that VAR must be fixed as numerous influential figures in football have spoken against its verdicts, the majority of spectators around the planet disagree with its verdicts, and numerous of its verdicts given by VAR are illogical.


VAR must be fixed as numerous influential figures in football have spoken against its verdicts. Liverpool FC’s captain, Jordan Henderson and manager, Jurgen Klopp have spoken against controversial results of utilizing VAR along with Manchester CIty player, Kevin De Bruyne. Tottenham Hotspurs manager, Jose Mourinho stated, "We're going in a direction that's really bad for the beautiful game, the game that everybody fell in love with." I feel that it is important for the officials to recognize the opinions of the managers and players as they are affected most by the verdicts of VAR rather than penalizing them. For instance, when asked about a verdict VAR gave in a game, Jose Mourinho once told a reporter, “I prefer to give my money to charity. This is why I think that VAR must be fixed.


VAR must be fixed as the majority of spectators around the planet disagree with its verdicts. Football is strengthened by the supporters. Spectators disagree with the numerous controversial results of utilizing VAR throughout its presence in the last few years. According to a poll for BBC Sport of over 2,500 spectators, 59% of spectators aged 55 and over feel VAR has impaired the game of football. Also, the poll showed that the majority of fans believe the introduction of VAR has made football less thrilling. The poll showed the majority of Premier League fans feel VAR is applied inconsistently. This is why I think that VAR must be fixed. As a football supporter who sometimes watches live games, it is irritating for the game to be repeatedly paused for long durations of time so officials can view the same understandable incident multiple times because one player drops to the ground for an irrelevant purpose; some players use the presence of VAR as a justification to oppose every verdict given by the referee as there may be a slight opportunity to override the call. A Football Supporters Association survey of 33,000 supporters polled has revealed that more than 40 percent will watch fewer games in future due to the negative impact VAR is having on the game. A few of the issues 95% of the supporters felt were the result of the initiation of VAR were the removal of the spontaneous joy of goal celebrations and the impact of delays were a few of the issues. To describe, 95% of supporters watching in the stadium physically and 94% of supporters watching on television virtually felt that VAR has made watching games less enjoyable. 91% of supporters watching in the stadium physically and 86% of supporters watching on television virtually felt that VAR verdicts are not given in a practical amount of time. 13% of supporters believe that VAR has improved the precision of refereeing verdicts. 78% of supporters think VAR has had a negative impact on the team they support.


VAR must be fixed as numerous of its verdicts given by VAR are illogical. Spectators despise the diminutive offside verdicts as the 50 frames per second technology cameras utilized for VAR are not capable of capturing the precise moment the ball was played. One incident which shocked the footballing society was the offsides verdict given against Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford at Crystal Palace as he pointed to indicate the location he needed the ball causing part of his shoulder to be in an offside position. The technology to monitor refereeing errors is available to utilize but as doctor Ian Malcolm once stated, “they were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” The difference between being onside or off may possibly be the size of your boots or the length of your hair. There is an area for interpretation in VAR. This is why sometimes the verdict depends on the officials. This is why I think that VAR must be fixed. I’m a supporter of Liverpool FC and I was in shock in October when Everton FC’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford violently collided with Liverpool FC’s defender Virgil van Dijk to end the former’s season. This incident was understandable once it occurred, a direct red card. However, the officials repeatedly viewed the incident multiple times until they determined that the tackle was just.


Numerous people believe that VAR has improved football as they feel that utilizing VAR improves verdicts given by officials during games and that the presence of VAR allows officials to stop errors like Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal for Argentina against England at the 1986 World Cup. Also, few supporters believe that referees show bias in giving verdicts during games. They feel that the idea that a team at the bottom of the pyramid could theoretically reach the top. is built on the fundamentals of equal playing fields and refereeing errors may unfortunately obstruct this concept. I feel that VAR has impaired football because numerous verdicts given by utilizing this technology are illogical. To explain, the difference between being onside or off may possibly be the size of your boots or the length of your hair. Also, There is an area for interpretation in VAR. This is why sometimes the verdict depends on the officials. The majority of spectators believe that VAR is applied inconsistently by officials. Also, I feel that referees currently are trained to not show bias and numerous officials correct the verdicts given by these officials. Referees are penalized for showing bias and not allowed to supervise games.


VAR must be fixed as numerous influential figures in football have spoken against its verdicts, the majority of spectators around the planet disagree with its verdicts, and numerous of the verdicts given by VAR are illogical. Football is strengthened by the supporters. It is not logical to not fix VAR if the spectators don’t enjoy watching football with the current technology present. The technology to monitor refereeing errors is available to utilize but as doctor Ian Malcolm once stated, “they were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Adjustment to VAR is important for football to thrive in the future.



References:

Kopczyk, Kate. “VAR: Hit or Miss? Fans' Poll on Football's Most Controversial Debate.” BBC, 4 Dec. 2020, www.bbc.com/sport/football/55160134.


Johnson, Dale. “VAR Is Back in the Premier League! How It's Changed for 2020-21.” ESPN, 9 Sept. 2020, www.espn.com/soccer/english-premier-league/story/4176070/var-is-back-in-the-premier-league!-how-its-changed-for-2020-21.


Darke, Ian. “Johnson, Dale. ‘VAR Is Back in the Premier League! How It's Changed for 2020-21.’ ESPN, 9 Sept. 2020, Www.espn.com/Soccer/English-Premier-League/Story/4176070/Var-Is-Back-in-the-Premier-League!-How-Its-Changed-for-2020-21. .” ESPN, 15 Feb. 2021, www.espn.com/soccer/english-premier-league/story/4315665/var-has-become-too-intrusivesays-ian-darkeand-fifa-needs-to-change-it.


Devine, Joe. The Problem with VAR, The Athletic, 22 Mar. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPW47MDJXlA.




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