V.A.R…. Yet to be convinced


When I heard about V.A.R being trialled, my initial reaction was that it was a great idea. We can finally say goodbye to dodgy refereeing and all the controversy that goes with it. but after sitting back and watching it’s FA Cup adventures, I have have to say I was very wrong.

It’s introduction in this years FA Cup has generated even more frustration for fans and players than it was was brought to eradicate as well as causing huge disruption to a game which is meant to be free flowing. Until it’s major flaws are ironed out I do not believe it can be used as desired in football. The debacle of Spurs v Rochdale convinced me of this.

Spurs v Rochdale V.A.R

Our game is meant to be played at an intensity and the men in the middle do have the unenviable job of making split second decisions. However, Let us be honest, the number of actual injustices is minimal and is it really enough of an issue to completely change the way the game is played? I don’t think it is.

I have been on the end of my fair share of bad decisions in my career which have ranged from the ball being punched over the line by a Grimsby player in clear daylight to my most recent match for Macclesfield versus Maidstone where I was penalised for picking up a back pass which hit an opposing player on the way through! Yes I was raging at the time and it took me a while to calm down after receiving a yellow card for kicking the ball away when my protests were dismissed by the referee…. But on reflection, that is what makes us fall in love with this game.

Referee’s making human errors and the resulting heated talking points over the incidents between pundits, fans and players is what makes this game so great. The elation or dispair from a refereeing decision is something we have all experienced during a pulsating 90 minutes and is why we keep coming back for more. Whether it is on the pitch, watching from the stands, or in the pub with friends we can’t get enough. I cant help but fear that the introduction of V.A.R will take this away from us.

We are all in agreement that goal line technology is brilliant. It gives the referee the information within a second and is black or white, goal or no goal. V.A.R does no such thing. It brings in yet another referee’s opinion who is sitting at a match control centre miles away from the action. In Champions League and Europa League matches the referee has five assistants! That’s five pairs of eyes and if they cant all come to a unanimous decision then they should just give up. Too many cooks spoil the broth…why add another one?

The rapid commercialisation of football is playing a huge part in the introduction of V.A.R. and I firmly believe financial gain is a massive factor of why it is being fast tracked even though it is clearly hindering the game in its present state as well as dividing opinion.

Chairmen, club owners and broadcasters will be licking their lips at the thought of how much money can be made through the advertising opportunities that will arise whilst a decision is being made during a televised match. This is great if the Clubs finances need boosting. However, V.A.R was not introduced for this purpose but it is quite clear to me that it will be exploited for other agenda’s.

I will be interested to see how much FIFA will financially benefit from it now that it has been confirmed that it will be used in the 2018 World Cup.

I realise that I am just skimming the surface on this issue so would be delighted to hear your opinions on the matter.

Thanks for reading


One thought on “V.A.R…. Yet to be convinced

  1. I’ve got similar feelings on V.A.R. I was cautiously optimistic about its potential to reduce game -changing errors however seeing it in action (admittedly not on a regular basis) – mainly the ability puncture moments of pure elation with tedious delays. It also seems to create more confusion than clarity – fans in the ground have no idea what’s going on, a lot of pundits don’t seem to be clear on what it can/can’t be used for, and officials are still getting to grips with it.

    I do think there’s a lot of hyperbolic opinion that it’s either the worst thing to happen to football/sport/the world, or if you criticise it you’re some sort of caveman opposed to any kind of advancement. It’s still in a trial phase so in theory there’s a chance to adapt and test new ways of implementation – it’s got to get a lot faster.

    That’s assuming it is a trial in the true sense of the word (i.e. paying attention and responding to results), my fear is the powers that be will plough ahead with the introduction regardless of what happens. Interesting to see the Bundesliga’s players objecting to the system but whether that has any wider impact….

    I’d rather they looked at improving decision making in other ways, perhaps those much maligned goal-line assistants can be more empowered?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s