UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has admitted he is ‘not a big fan’ of VAR and has proposed changes to offside and handball laws.
Video assistant referees have been introduced across major leagues in Europe over the past few seasons, with the technology having caused great frustration after failing to eradicate controversy and mistakes from officials.
Offsides, in particular, have come in for heavy criticism in the opening weeks of the new Premier League campaign, long delays having been caused as assistants debate the most fractional of calls – moving away from VAR’s specification to eliminate clear and obvious errors.
The most powerful man in European football has now opened up on his frustrations with VAR, admitting changes must be made if the technology is to prove a success, suggesting a small ‘tolerance’ of error.
“If you have a long nose, you are in an offside position these days,” he said at a meeting of IFAB in Belfast. “Also the lines are drawn by the VARs. So it’s a bit subjective drawing of objective criteria.
This is not even funny anymore. Just disgusting. Another good goal ruled out for offside by VAR. In favour of Spurs now. pic.twitter.com/9nconpUPNO
— Artur Petrosyan (@arturpetrosyan) November 9, 2019
“So our proposal will be – we will discuss this with our referees division – that it is a tolerance of 10-20 centimetres.”
“It’s okay if you don’t rule someone offside if it’s one centimetre. Because the meaning of offside is that I have to have some kind of advantage.
“I’m not a big fan, but unfortunately, if we say we don’t use it anymore, we are killed.”
Ceferin also stated that changes to the handball rule will be discussed, with changes implemented this season having caused confusion amongst coaches regarding the correct laws.
“Second thing, we had at UEFA the top coaches two weeks ago, in Nyon. There was Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Max Allegri, Carlo Ancelotti, Zinedine Zidane.
“All the top coaches of European teams, and our referee officer, Roberto Rossetti shows a handball. He says: ‘Handball or not?’
“Half the room said yes. Half said no. So tell me how clear the rule is. We don’t know anything!
“For example, let me think about the Liverpool game against Manchester City. Was that handball or not?”