VAR. Never have three little letters caused so much debate in the recent history of football, the video technology proving to be a constant source of frustration to English football fans, managers and players alike.
First debuting in the 2018 World Cup, and then being further rolled out in some European leagues in the 2018/19 season, the Premier League decided to wait a year before offering assistance to its officials.
However, while the rest of the world has allowed the on-field referee to remain in overall control, utilising pitchside monitors to help make their decisions, the Premier League decided to go in a different direction – and it hasn’t gone down well.
In an attempt to speed up the decision-making process, the English top-flight and the PGMOL have stationed a secondary referee at Stockley Park, with the VAR reviewing the footage and passing his verdict to the match official.
❌ – No red card for Lo Celso against Chelsea
😬 – VAR admit they got the decision wrong
❌ – No retrospective action to be taken on Lo Celso
Take it away, Jeff…😅 pic.twitter.com/l5K9kZRcco
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 22, 2020
However, even having the footage in front of the VAR doesn’t seem to be enough to get the right decision, a whole host of controversial and blatantly incorrect decisions remaining within the game, especially with subjective issues such as penalties, handballs and red cards – much to the frustration of virtually everyone involved with the game.
Now, speaking at a meeting of IFAB in Belfast, chair of the FIFA referee committee, Pierluigi Collina suggested that the Premier League now will be forced to follow suit with the rest of the world, whose use of VAR is seemingly far less controversial.
“Now we have many leagues and competitions [with VAR] we think this is the moment to have less flexibility and maybe make the positive experience of many a sort of guideline for everybody,” Collina said, as per the Telegraph.
“Certainly in the future there will be less possibility for a single competition organiser or association to do differently from others.
“You should expect there will be some changes next year. The vast majority of competitions believe that the vast majority of subjective decisions should have an on-field review.”