Yesterday’s international friendly between France and Spain was set centre stage for the steady introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VAR). The very precedent of recent football controversy, was most definitely the highlight of the afternoon.
Referees have drawn more criticism over the last few years, and that’s not just in football! The lack of consistency, harsh reviews by viewers and turmoil over their role, created room for something new. 2016 was the year the International Football Association Board (IFAB) decided to go ahead and showcase video technology within football; this was done in order to ease the process of giving correct decisions and to aid the role of referees. VAR is permissible during a game to officiate certainty of goals, penalty claims, red card issues and mistaken identity.
Yesterday’s game between European giants France and Spain did not lack to show worldwide spectators why VAR’s development is important. Just after half-time, France got a threshold in the game by scoring a well formulated goal. However, a minute later it was disallowed, as video assistance correctly showed the root of the goal was from an offside position. Much to the frustration of the home side, Spain took the lead and end up winning by a two goal margin. Despite arguments from France suggesting it had a haphazard affect on their result, Spain were also denied a goal from the same authority, but still prevailed.
Based on yesterday’s performances, VAR was pivotal to make correct legislations and ensure the referee was not criticised unjustly. The technology helped amend possible mistakes, and also ultimately gave justification to the winners, Spain. On the other hand, there were certain drawbacks by using VAR. The time taken to assess and call the decisions was very expressive. Not only this, but the time taken also had a small impact on the flow of the game. But why look at the negatives when such technology is helping utilise the best out of the sport?
VAR is very effective in terms of fairness within sport. It will help disarm the occurrences of potential match fixing and helps ensure football is played within controllable lengths. Especially with the outburst of criticism on referees; they are now protected by technologies with more justification than the players or managers accusing them. But, what does this mean for the future job prospects of referees and linesmen? Does this technology cause a threat to the future of sport?
Have your say below by clicking on thumbs up (👍🏼) if you agree with the use of such technology, or thumbs down (👎🏼) if you think otherwise!