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VAR Controversies: Should Football Rethink Video Assistant Refereeing

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Video Assistant Refereeing has been both a blessing and a curse for the football industry. Some think using VAR could help make fair judgements, but players and fans have been audiences to controversies coming from Video Assistant Refereeing. 


There have been various instances where VAR leads to unfair and inconsistent decisions. It had disallowed goals for marginal offside infractions and more. Most football fans know the frustration PSG faced when they received a penalty against them due to VAR judgment. Let’s dive deeper into VAR controversies.

The Beginning of the Controversies

Football fans have always kept a close eye on the game results. Some are doing their due diligence to make the right bet besides looking for promotions like 1xBet Promo Code Bangladesh, but no matter what the reason is, everyone involved wants fair results. 


When the technology was introduced in 2016, everyone felt it was the answer they’d been looking for. Several judgements from the referee’s naked eye have been proven detrimental in matches. Many started seeing the method as outdated. However, VAR’s glory didn’t last long. 


Controversies started popping up in the 2019–2020 season. There were subjective interpretations of apparent errors, causing delays in the gameplay. Even with VAR, referees still have to interpret whether the mistake is obvious, leaving room for argument. VAR’s precision leads to disallowed goals for offsides that are barely noticeable in real-time, like when an attacker’s nose is ahead of the defender. 


Although VAR aims to fix unfair refereeing, it brought new controversies about subjective calls, game pace and microscopic marginal decisions on offsides. These weaknesses frustrate fans and players alike, as VAR brings new problems to the field instead of fixing the initial ones. 

Referee’s View on VAR

Although VAR has been seen as a disadvantage, not everyone is against using it. The former Premier League referee, Mark Halsey, felt the technology helps in quick matches. With how fast the game moves, it’s difficult for the human eye to keep up with every step.  Halsey’s words are backed up by statistics, with the Premier League stating that VAR’s use increases the percentage of correct critical match decisions by 12%. 

Should Football Rethink VAR? 

It’s undeniable that VAR helps make quick and unbiased judgments. Despite the technology’s disadvantages, it’s only used in big tournaments and leagues. Still, even if the technology is a considerable help for referees, it requires multiple improvements to avoid bringing more controversies and frustrations. 


Clear communication is essential when using the VAR. It should be clear when the technology is used, why it’s necessary and what they’re looking at should be announced to avoid confusion. There also should be an explanation for the final decision, if it changes or remains the same. 


Operating VARs mean the referee would also go the extra mile. They must work long hours for the VAR, which might lead to fatigue that can affect their judgement. Not to mention, analysing the VAR takes 90 minutes, if not longer. 


Trained staff is a must to ensure they can make the technology beneficial rather than disrupting the game. Some had also said that having an ex-player inside the VAR room would help provide more knowledge, as some referees aren’t players. 


Still, even with improvements to VAR, football will always go hand in hand with controversies. These improvements can help, but they won’t eradicate every controversy surrounding the technology. 


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