With the announcement of the new Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology being introduced to football, there were two opinions about it. One was the positive one as certain people saw it as an opportunity to rid the game of controversy and stop false calls being made. The other side saw VAR as a soulless contraption that would make football into a boring game.
While there are cases that support both sides of the coin, we still can’t determine if VAR has greatly improved football or has gradually diminished it. Nevertheless, more and more leagues have already adopted it and even the top European flights like the Champions League and the Europa League have decided to adopt it.
But what are the actual results?
VAR Has Improved Football
We can’t deny the fact that VAR has been able to help in certain situations. VAR is helping in situations where everybody thought it would. Referees now how more time to review the call. In fact, this was something that was not possible at all in the past. When a call was made that was that. Now a ref has some time to view the situation again and overturn their opinions of it’s necessary. They even have the help of an added referee who is sitting in the VAR center and looking at the footage.
But referees can’t really look up videos whenever they want to. They are only allowed to do that in specific situations. As rules state they are only able to review the call after a goal has been scored, in the case of a penalty being give, giving a direct red card to a player, and in the case of mistaken identity when there is a scuffle between more players.
VAR is Damaging Football
But not all of it is good. The interruptions of the game when referees need to review the situation are becoming more frequent. True fans agree that this interrupts the flow of a football game. Many see it as something completely unnecessary.
Furthermore, not all calls prove to be correct. Even with an advanced system like VAR is, some referees tend to make mistakes. Some situations are not as they seem, causing the officials to react quickly and make a mistake. Mind you, the system is still young and certain referees are not experienced enough to handle it. There is also the pressure of being on a big screen and having to react accordingly as fast as possible.
A Different Kind of Drama
Whatever your opinion on VAR may be, it possesses both sides of the spectrum. It is helpful to some extent but at the same time, it is taking a bit away from the game that we all know and love.
But drama is still going to be a part of football but in a different form. Now the most suspenseful point of the game is the period when the referee reviews the call. Some will like it and some won’t.