The video assistant referee (VAR) is a football assistant referee that checks and reviews decisions which are made by the main official of a match with the use of video footage.
It has been part of the Italian Serie A for almost a season now and many other football associations are thinking of implementing it in their league matches or have already tried it out in some of their cup competitions.
Furthermore, it seems like now FIFA and UEFA are also seriously thinking about implementing it in the very near future, which means that tournaments such as the World Cup (this summer’s world cup with use VAR), Champions League and Europa League will soon be refereed by an additional official who will help the main one make the big game-changing decisions such as giving yellow and red cards, awarding penalties or allowing and disallowing goals.
However, in all of this excitement and commotion surrounding the implementation of this new technology in football, one does wonder about the negative effects this revolutionary technology may have on games. After all awarding red cards out of the blue is not something harmless like playing card games at home or playing Poker or Baccarat online. These games can have no ill effects on people who do them and are usually quite beneficial, whereas VAR can be anything but. Let’s see why.
Interruptions of the Game
The process of changing a referee’s decision as a result of the VAR system spotting a mistake in the decision seems to be quite a long one if the Italian experience is to be taken as an example. Most Italian Serie A matches in which the VAR made a decision to award a penalty to one of the teams for example, were interrupted for a period of around 5 minutes.
This time was sometimes added on regular time at the end of the match, but sometimes that wasn’t the case and this left the aggrieved fans of the team conceding the penalty with a feeling that their team was treated unfairly.
In addition, the interruption of the game and the ill effects it has on the players’ physical and mental condition shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Possibility for Match Fixing
VAR technology may seem like the answer to all referee related problems in the developed world of football. However, when you start thinking that this same VAR system will also be used in less developed countries and leagues, you realize that malicious behind the scenes forces might very easily influence a VAR decision, so that they can gain some financial advantage.
This is very disturbing, to say the least, and may leave the door open for organized crime unions and gangs. This is why the implementation of the VAR system should be done with much greater care than it is now and several more test runs should be given to a system which realistically is still in its infancy.