The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was highly welcomed when introduced. It was meant to solve the problem of poor refereeing decisions.
I was excited about it. I could still remember Liverpool vs Chelsea game, in the FA Cup final, at the Wembley Stadium; the referee got a crucial moment wrong in the dying minutes that could have changed the game. Referee Phil Dowd did not award Andy Carroll’s goal. Carroll thought he had got a goal after connecting with a cross, but Chelsea shot-stopper, Petr Cech, appeared to have saved the goal on the line.
The Liverpool forward wheeled away in jubilation but the goal didn’t stand. Many felt the decision was wrong while some felt it was the right call. I could remember Phil Dowd consulted his assistant, Andrew Grant, who ruled it was no goal.
But with the goal-line technology being introduced, that doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore for referees. They can make correct calls when the ball crosses the goal line.
However, one thing I still find ineffective is the VAR. When you look at the blunders it has committed, then I don’t think it is helping the game.
You don’t get that feeling of Justice as a player, coach, supporter or even a pundit. Looking at the Aston Villa game over the weekend, it took around 2 minutes for the goal to be chalked off. Since the referee and his crew would have to go over it again and again.
Another area of incompetence was the Liverpool vs Man Utd game at Old Trafford, on Sunday, Marcus Rashford’s goal should never have stood. There was a foul in the build-up play. Victor Lindelof fouled Divock Origi.
Maybe the referee felt it would be a soft decision? But when you look at how the goal was set up, United still had to work the ball 60-odd yards upfield before scoring, then the referee should not have bothered to check the foul on Divock Origi.
Besides, there have been too many controversies surrounding the VAR since its introduction to the Premier League. It has been a huge talking point all season. Man City against Tottenham was another game that showed the flaws in the system. Man City should have been awarded a goal after Gabriel Jesus strike, but it was chalked off after the referee consulted the machine.
After the game, the referee had to admit that the goal should have stood. Meaning, Man City were denied their victory.
When you consider the amount that has been invested in this development, the least you would want to expect is an unfair judgement. It doesn’t seem to be doing any good.
Why not invest the money into training young referees?
As much as I know that we are all humans, we make mistakes, but it makes no sense if we set up a process to tackle incompetencies and it is failing.
A poor refereeing decision could kill the morale of the whole team. We’ve seen that before. Every football fan wants to feel rewarded for every penny spent on watching a football match, every team wants to be rewarded for the hard work they put out on the training ground and every manager wants to feel satisfied with the referee’s decision after the game.
No one is demanding 100 percent from the referee’s decisions, but they can still do better.