Opinion – Stop whining about VAR, it is doing exactly what it is supposed to

VAR is doing exactly what it is supposed to, uphold the rules of the game.

VAR was the centre of attention once again at the weekend, mainly because of goals being ruled in or out because of an armpit hair or toenail.

Apparently it is against the spirit of the game when you ignore rules, it seems offside is not really offside these days.

Letโ€™s do some comparisons for a minute to get an understanding of marginal calls.

In Cricket they go so in-depth that they even listen for sound when the naked eye cannot tell. In American football, they go right down to the smallest of possible margins and always have done so. Just this weekend I saw a touchdown ruled offside because the heel of a boot touched the paint on the sidelines even though it was literally a blade of painted grass.

In Tennis, it is exactly the same, Rugby League and Rugby Union are exactly the same, if the ball touched a fingernail it is called a forward pass.

I could go on, the point is that every sport that utilises a version of VAR works in millimetres, why should football be any different?

Then there is this absolute myth about the poor standard of English refs. You would think they are the worse on the planet and that every other nation has perfect refs and that the English ones cannot use VAR properly.

I recently read an article about video assistant referees in the Bundesliga, it has been absolutely hammered in Germany, it was terrible, controversy after controversy week in week out.

La Liga is exactly the same, non-stop criticism, as an example this article from Marca analyses the problems with VAR.

Another article in VAR goes with the headline VAR causing controversy all across Europe. In fact, do any Google search on any nation that uses VAR and you will find a whole heap of fierce criticism.

So, it is not just England and not just English refs being incompetent. It is refs all over the world actually implementing the rules, nothing more nothing less.

Finally, this article from the BBC covers the issues with VAR in the big leagues and all the problems they faced and the changes they had to make, no one single country has pulled it off without teething problems.

As for VAR being against Arsenal, it is Sheff Utd that have had the most VAR decisions against them, even Tottenham have had more than Arsenal.

VAR is a good thing, it will take time to be perfected, this has been proven in the other top leagues and it is being used far too often as an excuse for a bad result.

52 Comments

  1. Krish says:

    Superb article! thank you very much.. its just the whining mentality of stupid fans.. blaming everyone else.. we have seen wrong referee decisions so often but now we want VAR to be perfect in the first years? that’s just deluded.. VAR will correct its mistakes and of course its not perfect yet but its the best thing that happened in football in the last 10-20 years so lets give it time and not go back to the status quo.. that’s just a mentality thing the aim should be to better things.. not be conservative and stay in the comfort zone..

  2. Reggie says:

    Var has given us a level of accuracy of decisions we have never had and have never been used too. The problem is, the time it takes to get the decision and the fact the celebration for the goal and then the reversal is something totally different to before, if var overturns a goal. It is strange and it is very different. From my point of view i want consistentcy and accuracy of decisions. I hope the timing issues will sort themselves out. I do see where people say it is sterilising football and taking the passion away but if a goal is correct, then that wont happen, it only happens when it isn’t correct. Its in and its not going away, so we need to make it a better system.

  3. ThirdManJW says:

    I personally think it’s been a disaster, and it’s massively short changing the fans. Instead of clearing up controversy, it has created more. If it’s here to stay, then there has to be huge amendments.

    Why has it been so controversial? Before VAR, refs made plenty of mistakes. Human error was frustrating, but understandable considering they only had one look at an incident, from their point of view, and in real time. Amazingly these mistakes are still happening, despite VAR officials reviewing incidents from multiple angles, in slow-mo, for minutes on end! Even worse, there has been many incidents when VAR can get involved, but for some unknown reason, chooses to stay silent? My final issue with how VAR is applied is the fact it doesn’t review all incidents. To some degree, this is understandable, as there are so many incidents, but then it doesn’t clear up all controversies though. In a way it then becomes more frustrating, knowing the technology is there, but that it’s only used in certain situations.

    Amendments:

    1 – Fans are being badly short-changed because they do not stop the clock during VAR. There was a VAR decision earlier in the season during the Spurs vs Sheff Utd game, that took almost four minutes! That was only one VAR decision. I dread to think how much game time was lost overall during that match when totaling up the VAR interventions. Football games in England are extremely expensive, especially when you factor in travel expenses. They either have to stop the clock altogether during VAR, or maybe stop the clock if a VAR decision hasn’t been made after 10/15 seconds.

    2 – Speed up VAR, because I feel it’s having a negative effect on the flow of the game. Some easy decisions which need just one look, 5 seconds tops, seem to always take too long.

    3 – Any difficult decisions should be immediately referred to the on field referee, so that he can review it on the screen on the side of the pitch. Like what we saw at the world cup. This is another way of speeding things up, and I feel the referee should have the final say.

    4 – Another option, could be that instead of VAR looking at lots of decisions, and constantly stopping the play, each manager/head coach gets 3 challenges per game. VAR would only be implemented once the manager/head coach uses one of his challenges.

    Overall, I would ditch VAR. It isn’t creating any sort of fairness, and it’s costing the fans game time.

  4. Shakir says:

    I would agree with the offside decisions.OFFSIDE IS OFFSIDE even with a nm distance
    But i would like VAR to explain what “CLEAR AND OBVIOUS” is actually.
    I know its not perfect but some decisions are just biased.

    And the standard of english referees need not to be mentioned, everyone knows how bad they are(not all of them though).

    And finally its the club and the fans that pay the price for every stupid wrong decision.

  5. Mide says:

    Just recalls the game againt ManU at OT. Auba’s goal could easily have been ruled out as offside when even a partially blind friend would have spotted the ManU defender.

    And if only VAR was in use last season, the last minute Penalty miss of Auba againt Spurs could habe been retaking for clear and obvious encroachment by the spurd player.

    Its true that it will take some time to adjust to it, but I’m all ijn support of the good that will come out of it eventually. The refs though should use the small monitor pitch side for certain unsure events.

    By the way, a big thank you to Admin for this platform that allows us fans connect with each other and talk about the club we love.

    The past decade was not gopd enough for us as a club finishing outside the top four far too often, but I’m convinced we have made the right appointment with Arteta to change that by next season.

    Loive You All

  6. Sue says:

    I was all for var… Not been overly impressed though. No consistency.. certain team (s) getting all the luck!
    I read that United and Liverpool don’t have a big screen at their ground. I think every ground should.. to show decisions, replays etc..

    1. Reggie says:

      Sue, i think you are wrong there, the facts show that there is consistency. Luck is a totally different issue and Var doesnt do luck, good or bad, that is down to….well just luck! Lol

      1. Sue says:

        I should’ve worded it better ๐Ÿ˜‚ By luck, I meant all decisions…whether by var or just a plain old refereeing decision…
        Most weeks it seems there’s controversy (& it’s usually at Anfield) I saw a table, without var, Liverpool’s lead at the top would be by 6 points, not 13.

        There have been some good points with regards to var (our goal at OT)… but a lot of bad too!

      2. Rory johnson says:

        What “facts” do you speak of just curious? VAR seems like an epic fail to me.

        1. Reggie says:

          Var has made more correct decisions, something like 99%, i read. The truth is they have righted many wrongs and points would be different thats the whole point. Liverpool wouldn’t be 6 points worse off because they didn’t deserve it, they were given the points because they were wronged in the first place. If a team is given a points deduction because of Var, then that means they had initially been given a goal that should not have been. I dont see any issue there. Because your opinion is you don’t agree with Var, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t give a truer reflection of what is correct. It gets things far more right than just the ref, that isn’t an issue. The issue is the time and the fact celebrations are flattened by the change of the decision.

          1. Rory johnson says:

            Yeah fair, %1.1 compared to %7 without VAR but honestly I would scrap it, totally ruining the game as it’s not infallible and does make mistakes (I can think of three or four
            Examples on my own) and also deflates the celebrations of goals etc and just destroys the beauty of football, people want to see goals not goals disallowed because there 2-3 millimetres offside, as when it is that close it’s still always debatable and I dont trust the people in charge of it, there still just judging what they think they see sane as a referee, plus yes it wastes sooooo much time

    2. Jim will fix it says:

      @Sue love it that you realise Liverpool are lucky to have VAR coz the people operating it may be Liverpool supporters! Can we get this investigated asap and ensure those operating VAR are all Arsenal supporters instead? ๐Ÿ˜‚

      1. Sue says:

        Oh without a doubt, Jim. So bloody lucky!! They’ll have VAR on their shirts next season!! Anything to help the scousers win it all ๐Ÿ™„

        ๐Ÿ˜‚ We could do with it!!

      2. Reggie says:

        Jim, that is a great idea.

      3. Gily says:

        ‘The PIGMO?’
        You mean like investigating the most secret of all the most secret, secret organisations?

    3. Kev82 says:

      The iceman is out Sue ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      1. Sue says:

        I was devastated, Kev!! He was pants too!! Gonna have to root for MVG now ๐Ÿ˜–

        1. Kev82 says:

          Yeah I didn’t see the end of it Sue I just saw the match half way through the other fella is confident with hair and matching trousers like that ๐Ÿ˜‚ oh yeah the final isn’t it Sue ๐Ÿ˜€

        2. Kev82 says:

          I heard the iceman didn’t shake Wright’s hand either Sue was he being a bad loser ? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜‚

          1. Sue says:

            He has apologised..they both did apparently! Heated moments at the Ally Pally ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ The women don’t behave like that ๐Ÿ˜‚

          2. Kev82 says:

            Fallon Sherrock took it on the chin maybe they should take a leaf out of her book ๐Ÿ˜‚ too much testosterone on show there Sue ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  7. Sue says:

    What a time to play crap, hey?!! The other guy (Wright) was good, so fair play. Don’t tell me you’ll be modelling yourself on him?! ๐Ÿ˜œ
    The final is tomorrow, same time as Arsenal ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    1. Kev82 says:

      Haha no Mohawks wouldn’t go down well at work ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ oh what match are you watching then Sue? split screen? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      1. Sue says:

        As well as Eastenders ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

        1. Kev82 says:

          Triple split screen at your house Sue ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ so is there a shindig at yours later Sue or you having a quiet one since you’ll be another year older soon ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

          1. Sue says:

            No party tonight, Kev. Working early tomorrow. How about you? Off out in your mohican?! ๐Ÿคฃ
            Shhh ๐Ÿคซ don’t tell everyone!!
            I’ll say it now – Happy New Year, Kev… I’ll probably be asleep later ๐Ÿ˜‚
            Let’s hope next year will be a success!!

          2. Kev82 says:

            No no I don’t drink Sue I’ll probably just grab a long shower and watch Mr Fred Krueger ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ haha my lips are sealed ๐Ÿค๐Ÿ˜† success what’s that ? ๐Ÿ˜‚ Happy new year to you too Suzanne ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‡

  8. Drew says:

    As with all systems, they are only as good as those who operate them.

    As VAR has proven to be subjective decision making like referees, it will only come good when that is taken away.

    Arsenal’s third goal against Crystal Palace was decided to be discounted by all accounts from an inexperience Australian. Having said that I have nothing against Australia or their citizens.

    1. Reggie says:

      Offside, is now not subjective, that is some peoples problem with it. It is acurate to a milimeter or something but that is for everyone. Not liking it is a different problem but offside has got to be offside or not, it cant be maybe or if.

      1. Gily says:

        This is football. The rule is, ‘is it clear and obvious’ without having to measure out toenails and armpit hairs? lol

        1. Reggie says:

          Gily, i thought that but the offside rule in the prem has been changed. Offside is offside at the point of kicking the ball. On or off, no maybe.

  9. GB says:

    A football match used to be refereed by a human, thatโ€™s why he is called a referee. Now, decisions are basically made by computer after humans look at the computer graphics and declare either โ€œcomputer says yesโ€ or โ€œ computer says noโ€. If it takes two minutes after looking at a computer graphic to make the decision, then itโ€™s ruined the game as we know it. Yes offside is offside but by 5mm, really? If someoneโ€™s armpit can be ruled offside then Luiz and Guendouzi better get their hair cut !!! VAR has taken the euphoric moment a goal is scored from the game as every goal is now reviewed before we can really know we have scored. I hate VAR.

    1. Reggie says:

      Thats correct GB we either have it by computer and be accurate or by human and be totally human error but quicker.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Reggie, on this we agree!!!!
        YES, I know it’s hard to come to terms with this , but to deny it would be foolish.

        I would add that, riley must change his insistence that referees cannot view the touchline video and that thevar experts are completely separate from his referreeing community.

        That would involve bringing in a foreign footballing expert, but var is here to stay….and a totally different discussion to the one regarding current refereeing standsrds of course.

        1. Reggie says:

          Ken Var isn’t the problem, the problem is peoples opinion on the changes and the times it takes. Var is far more accurate but it is slow and makes it more sterile. You either want better decisions and sterile or not accurate decisions and moaning about bad reffing and bad decisions. Lol

          1. ken1945 says:

            Reggie, why can’t we have both, as they do in other sports?

            In my opinion var is a must, but must be implicated without any thought regarding referees AND referees must explain controversial decisions to the public who are paying their salaries.

            No one should be allowed to hide behind a sel proclaimed set of rules intended to shield mistakes, whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

      2. GB says:

        I prefer the latter.

        1. Reggie says:

          The truth is neither is perfect but Var is here to stay and develop now. Hopefully into something that is good and meets demands.

    2. jon fox says:

      Well said GB. may I suggest you read my own long post much further down this thread. I have my own take on VAR and would welcome your opinion on what I say.

  10. Le Coq Monster says:

    If we had as much “luck” with VAR as LiVARpool we would have Bindippers calling us VARsenal!

    1. Sue says:

      ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Exactly ๐Ÿ‘

  11. Le Coq Monster says:

    If we had as much “luck” with VAR as LiVARpool, we would have Bindippers calling us VARsenal!

    1. Le Coq Monster says:

      I`m seeing double! hahaha

      1. GB says:

        Liverpool have new sponsors……. VAR………will be on their shirts next season.

  12. Break-on-through says:

    We need to see the images that the guys working with the tech are seeing. When they show us a slow motion on the telly, most times we just need the one slow motion and we all know what it was. Sometimes you get one that can look different with two or three different angles and it’s debatable. I’d like to see exactly what they’re watching. That Sokratis goal, they never showed us the angle they seen, because the telly angles all said it was a goal. They should watch one slow motion, and then if necessary watch one or two more angles, there should be three different setups so one guy can’t show any bias he might have, and if there is a hint of doubt then you can not give it, like with the law, burden of proof is with the rewardee.

    I do believe Liv are after been given – unfair advantage – this season, in a way that was reminiscent of manu. City made the league a one horse race but the FA and sponsors/Sky/BTS/ESPN are not going to happy about that – With prem said to be the most competitive and most watched league worldwide. Some might say ..but they didn’t need any advantage sure they’d be still top, yes probably still top but you don’t know about the difference it could make, confidence is a big deal and going from match to match you could never then tell how that next one might go after one favor you got from previous match, also the cushion/pts gap ..it might not be so soft and that can make a player do strange things in a split second and with your cushion on the line.

  13. GB says:

    It needs the ref to go over to the pitch side monitor as is done in every other league to review the decision and then make the final decision.
    The refโ€™s decision should be mandatory and not some faceless person 100 miles away.

    1. Gily says:

      That’s illuminati refereeing where nobody can be held responsible for decisions (wrong decisions), because the real referee is unknown.

  14. jon fox says:

    My VAR take is different from most, I expect. I am firmly for refs alone making all final decisions. I would be far more draconian when players cheat, as they routinely do. For after match(vidoe panel of ex pros) proven cheating by diving I would ban players for a minimum of six Prem matches, rising significanly each time he repeats. This would stamp it out if properly and regularly applied. I do not condone cheating at all and would immediately send off any player who questions a refs decision. No if’s, no but’s! IN GOLF CHEATING IS ALMOST EXTINCT AND IN RUGBY REF ARGUING IS NEVER DONE OR TOLERATED. We need to get to that level of accepting all refs decisions. IT DOES NOT HELP WHEN , routinely , even bright fans blithely accuse refs of cheating. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE, SLANDEROUS LEGALLY TOO, AND IMO they do not cheat. I do believe there is much incompetence BUT if we constatly undermine refs authority we sow a seed of distrust that does the game harm. VAR was supposed to be to clear up “clear and obvious ref errors”. A two minute delay (or more) that finds a “clear and obvious ” error of a fraction of an inch cannot possibly be “clear and obvious”. Therefore VAR, as used in the Prem, is acting against what was proposed when it was brought in. Also it is fact that as of now the framing cannot be 100% accurate, as a timelapse on offsides from passing is adnmitted and therefore makes it a mockery.

    I would bin all VAR completely and insist all refs, alone, are final arbitors of onfield action but with penalties afterwards for proven diving missed by refs and for all cheating missed during the game. We need to accept that errors, including ref errors, are part of the game and give refs an even break.

    There is an anti ref culture from fans, players, pundits and managers that is plain dangerous and unfair. IT HARMS OUR SPORT AND WE NEED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE OUR STANCE IN THE DIRECTION I HAVE OUTLINED. If refs are sidelined, bullied, back chatted to and undermined, you will have real trouble, more outrage and less tolerance and that is already happening . IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE UNLESS AND UTIL WE COME TO OUR SENSES AND PROPERLY BACK REFS.

    Just my thoughts BUT, as ever much thought has gone into my views.

    1. jon fox says:

      I should have added that I would keep goal line technology as this is ref decided in any case but I don’t regard that as VAR as it has worked successfully now ever since it came in , well before VAR was brought in. I would probably, on reflection, allow VAR to decide on wrong player by ref sending off,as happened to GIBBS A FEW YEARS AGO WITH US. I just firmly beluie that anything that downgrades the refs right to be thr filal arbitor is dangerous and wrong. Beware going further down this wrong road I say and change it back now , before further damage is done to vital trust in the game. IT IS CLEARLY CAUSING FAR MORE, NOT LESS CONTROVERSY AND HOW CAN THAT POSSIBLY BE GOOD? It cannot!

  15. Pepe says:

    England fa and referee is so bad and corrupt that I don’t even believe the edited videos they serve the public. They does not have the worst referees for nothing.

  16. John Nnagozie says:

    Var does not favor or despise any team. Liverpool had a goal by firmino disallowed bcos his armpit was offside. var makes sure the correct decision is made regardless of which team is screwed. That’s why the var team is far away from the pitch so their decision isn’t influenced by emotions of fans.

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