Opinion – Why VAR takes the fun out of watching Arsenal games

The case against the whole concept of VAR and why it spoils the FUN and the spirit of the game by Jon fox

I have been much against the concept of VAR from its outset and in this article I will fully set out my reasons. I will also examine the other side of the argument, as I know many will prefer it to stay, even with its problems. But first I need to explain my beliefs of what football means to us all and how vital it is, especially in these bleak times, to the morale of all who love it and play it. As youngsters we started playing and watching football for the pure joy of being alive. It was and should always be a pleasure. Even, in fact especially, top level football should be above all else, FUN!

Most of us, I must assume, fell in love with football at an early age. I certainly did and by the age seven was lucky enough to be the third generation of Gooners in my family. This was long before the word GOONER became our nickname of course. I already know all about how we were formed back in 1886 and of the several name changes we had in those early days, courtesy of a grandad who used to attend at Woolwich and a dad who was also a Gooner long before he, or anyone else, knew the word existed.

I was brought up hearing tales of Sir Henry Norris – which is why to this day I have a soft spot for Fulham. Of why we play in red shirts – same fondness for Forest of course – of wee Alex James in his baggy shorts, of fierce unshaven Wilf Copping who would terrify opponents, of Cliff “Boy” Bastin, Ted Drake and his seven away goals at Villa, and much more in the same vein. I began going aged eight to Highbury, to thrill at the saves of our own Jack Kelsey in goal and, by the age of twelve, to thrill at the introduction of our best player til then that I had seen in the flesh, in the slim figure of George Eastham.

All those wonderful experiences and tales learned were FUN! FUN is what I, as a boy and now as a fully-fledged old fa*t, still watch football to see. If it was not all FUN, I would have taken up something boring, like well, almost anything else that was NOT football! How humans managed to live on our planet before football is a mystery I still don’t understand. Even lasting a few days between games is purgatory. So, is football STILL fun to me, even now? It is there that I have to think about exactly what fun means. I easily recognise what is NOT fun though. It is VAR (and my previous long-winded fun ramble through my football childhood now brings me back on course to the subject!)

Dear fellow Gooners, VAR is not only NOT fun; it is an abomination that has spoilt that fun for millions of us fans. Think why our Prem league is so hugely loved the world over – it is for its unrelenting pace. In modern life, pace has quickened immensely, in so many areas of life. Attention spans are now shorter than in previous times This is not a criticism but merely an observation about how we all crave pace, excitement, energy and how in these bleak Covid times we especially need our fix of pacey instant football. God knows, I for just one, have spent endless time moaning at the slow unproductiveness of our passing, of slow Xhaka, of sideways/ backwards passing. That is no FUN! I can just about accept these frustrations without cutting my own throat in despair, by reflecting that at least they are OUR team. But when the game stops suddenly, unaccountably and for often ridiculously long reasons, I really despair at the stupidity of those who administer the game. They are also largely members of the old fa*t club and they have introduced a Frankenstein monster that is killing our enjoyment of the game.

Only this morning VAR was the principal topic for discussion on Talk Sport. Though presenter Jim White was firmly for it staying and Simon Jordan, whom I much respect, made the point that it would be better if it were only used when refs actually ASKED for it’s help. Danny Murphy, the widely respected pundit was, like me, totally against it AND all the phone in calls from fans in general were against it body and soul. Ordinary clued-up fans who know what they want and know what they don’t want are in a large majority against it. To some people, FUN matters less than getting ever letter of every law exactly right. They are the pro VAR tribe! No matter to them the game will still have many inconsistencies as they don’t, many of them, even notice those remaining inconsistencies. Example: when a ref is pacing out ten yards for a free kick, he only steps what he thinks are ten yards. This is never exact – (as an “armpit” offside line IS, though it commonly takes over three minutes to show an “armpit” offside) – nor does anyone much worry about it. And why don’t they worry? Because there is such a thing as the spirit of the game. This spirit is all important and the game should always be played in the right spirit. How can it be, when a remote ref sitting at a screen in Stockley Park (it might as well be Jurassic Park!) fancies he knows better than the on-field ref about the context of how the game is going. As any actual spectator will testify, it is always more enjoyable and more helpful being there compared to merely watching on a screen. This spirit of the game is often spoken of but so often sadly abused; by the whole concept of VAR, by cheating, diving, play-acting players, and by all those who seek to gain illegitimate and unfair advantage, like Fulham’s Mitrovic did this last weekend when Soucek of West Ham was innocent but still sent off and VAR compounded the refs original mistake, indeed made him look twice the mistaken ref he was as he has many looks at the TV but still got the verdict wrong. It was rescinded on appeal just this morning. So refs do make mistakes, but VAR makes many of them even worse!

I will soon write a fuller article about how this abuse of the spirit of the game is spoiling football. Though I digress slightly from this VAR subject, I have long contended that to get a mere booking for a deliberate dive is pathetic. I would instantly ban without appeal anyone found guilty of a deliberate dive, and that ban would be 6 PREM games, doubled for a second offence, and then doubled again, at least, for a third time, and still given a sending off in the game itself.

But some will ask, what if refs get decisions wrong! My reply then is of course refs will get decisions wrong BECAUSE they are human beings. It is foolishly naive to expect them to get all decisions right. In the spirit of the game, it is unhelpful when fan sites (just like this one) are filled with fans who regularly accuse refs of being biased against their own team. I will not join this mass silliness and have never thought refs are deliberate cheats, which is what accusations of “bias” really means. Isn’t it! Even mature members of this site regularly accuse refs of bias against our team and that is NOT in the spirit of the game at all. They seem not to care that fans of other clubs say precisely the same thing about their clubs. PERHAPS REFS HATE ALL CLUBS THEN, which seems a tad unlikely when they make football their career, I’d suggest!

So, administrators, players and fans’ acceptance of the real spirit of the game is paramount to FUN in football. When people, routinely, distrust others simply because they are refs or opponents players, it actively works against this spirit and against FUN. It is a price not worth paying and has shown the stupidity of mistrusting refs so much that ANOTHER remote ref is assumed to be needed to question his decisions and to hold up the excitement when a goal is scored – A KEY ELEMENT OF ALL FANS ENJOYMENT OF FOOTBALL, IN ORDER TO CHECK THAT “NASTY BIASED CHEATING REF”, JUST IN CASE HIS CLEAR BIAS FOR ONE OR OTHER TEAMS MAKES HIM GIVE THE DELIBERATE WRONG DECISION!! Pathetic mis-thinking, and I want no part of it! The way out of this mess is to return to the way we were before VAR, but for us all to accept that refs will at times make HONEST mistakes which will sometimes be against us, sometimes for us. THAT is what in the spirit of the game means.

Mistrust is what is spoiling the game and those who misbehave, instead of being properly punished, which would in time remove most of the cheating, are merely given a proverbial wrist slap, which means they carry on cheating. Get this accomplished and refs would be under far less pressure from players, media, managers and fans and far more likely to get important calls right in consequence. VAR itself adds a huge pressure as those who are against it can see only too well.

Fair minded folk will always try to examine the other side of the argument so, though I will now be playing Devil’s Advocate, here goes:
VAR corrects important mistakes made by on field refs. In a highly professional game, financed by corporate money, costly mistakes are no longer allowable nor acceptable. The advent of VAR has rectified many critical mistakes that have previously cost some clubs harshly. Fans like honesty and fairness and will accept decisions made against their own team in the greater good of the game. ((Oh yeah? Try reading fan sites then if you believe that nonsense!)) VAR will in time become more efficient and take a lot less time to make more definitely accurate decisions. The price we pay for undermining the on-field ref IS a price worth paying!

THE LETTER OF THE LAW MUST BE RESPECTED AND THE SO-CALLED SPIRIT OF THE GAME IS OVERRATED AND BELONGS IN THE DISTANT PAST, when only Corinthian sportspeople bothered about fairness and what is technically right far exceeds any fun that people should expect.

Well, my Gooner friends, though I am biased against what I see as this VAR nonsense, I have presented, (an admittedly biased) presentation both against and for VAR.

If I may act as a judge though and do my own summing up, while I await you, the jury, to give the final verdict one way or the other, I say that most of the games ills could be cured by enforcing respect for the existing refs by players, fans and managers alike and that we all must accept that a mistake free game is not possible, unless you make each game hours longer and examine every decision made by a remote TV ref, and that is a price that is never going to be acceptable to pay!

LET US RETURN TO CHERISHING THE VITAL SPIRIT OF THE GAME THAT WE ALL LOVE AND ALL NEED TO PROTECT, OR WE WILL LOSE ALL THE FUN IN OUR GAME AND THAT WILL LEAD TO ITS DEATH. A game without fun is not a game I want to watch! Do you?

Thanks for reading this article and I much hope that at least a few of you who have been pro VAR will now start to see the harm it is doing to our precious game.

Jon Fox

Tags referees spirit of the game VAR

33 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Pausing a game for a video checking is killing the mood sometimes, but it’s still essential in modern football era. VAR helped us sometimes and it has also worked against us occasionally

  2. McLovin says:

    Imagine you have Video Assisting Ref, checking on dubious calls, and yet you still get the call wrong. Lol.

  3. PJ-SA says:

    VAR is just used incorrectly, way too rigid.

    In rugby the TMO decisions are swift and almost never contested as the refs apply common sense to what they are seeing.

    1. Trudeau says:

      This.

      (Add ice hockey, cricket, American football, baseball, basketball and tennis to sports use VAR with a healthy dose of common sense)

  4. Danny says:

    Var was bought in to ensure the correct decisions were made while it’s worked in most cases there have been mistakes as well my problem with it is it takes far to long for the decisions to be made while rugby have got it spot on and the fact you can hear the conversation between officials so at least you know what’s going on so should be introduced into football as well!!

  5. FCRB 2008 says:

    VAR doesn’t decide.
    VAR is technology that help to see things more clearly.
    Decisions are made by terribly incompetent irresponsible concrete persons, covered by absolutely incompetent and irresponsible people at PGMOL. And by biased pundits, and diased media.

    1. jon fox says:

      But do you not see that technology only slows things down and we pay an unacceptable price in huge delay for that. It gets some wrong decsions right, eventually, but creates still more problems.
      My argument, as against yours, allows for the undeniable fact that humans will make mistakes – as VAR does too(proving my point, since humans operate and interpret it) – and the spirit of the game that I consider vital to not overrule, is our only practical way out of this mess.
      You will never get a game that is error free in all decisions WITHOUT hours longer being added to every game for endless technology.

      We should accept their will be mistakes HONESTLY made, not by so called “cheating, biased refs” but by well intentioned refs doing their best under intolerable pressure from unrealistically demanding fans, cheating players, and from self satisfied, self promoting, media pundits.

      Refs are not perfect Nor is anyone else. Accept the reality of what life IS, SUMS UP MY VIEW.

      1. FCRB 2008 says:

        Slowing the game is secondary issue.
        Primary issue is wrong, biased refs & media.
        Seconds after primary issue will be solved we can talk about slowing the game.

        1. jon fox says:

          FCRB CLEARLY THE IS NO MEETING OF MINDS WHATSOEVER BETWEEN YOU AND I. Such is life, I suppose!

  6. Indian Gunner London says:

    For Jon Fox
    Good article.
    I am on the fence on this one.

    I definitely want VAR for dangerous tackles to be looked at, like the one against Scott Mctominay of MU against Southampton.

    I also don’t like the fun of a player or a fan celebrating a goal while waiting for VAR to say if spontaneous reaction is valid or not.

    One suggestion that I have is a compromise which I want to throw:-

    Use VAR for specifically defined purposes like penalties, sending off’s only and not for offsides.

    Increase the number of linesman (i.e. have 4 instead of 2) to aid the on field referee.

    This one I am not sure of: Have 1 referee play each half as they are not as fit as the players to last the full 90 minutes.

    1. jon fox says:

      IGL, Thank you for taking my, well thought through before writing, article seriously and giving it serious comment. I would ask you to read my reply above to FCRB and I would like your thoughts on “the spirit of the game”.

      1. Indian Gunner London says:

        Jon Fox
        I agree with you that it is killing the spirit of the game.

        Another point which you have not mentioned in your article is that: ‘IT ATTACKS MOMENTUM’ especially of a side that has scored. VAR delays things. Then the momentum of the side that has scored has lost that edge which I am sure is not what VAR was meant to do.

        It is absolutely brilliant to see a side coming back from a 2 goal deficit to win 3-2. That edge is being lost.

        But, overall I am still on the fence.

        1. jon fox says:

          IGL Good point about momentum! I had overlooked that key point, so thanks for making it, as it backs up my whole argument against VAR.
          I would use the key words excitement and fun , both being killed by VAR, and BOTH of vital importance to the health and future of our game. VAR is a killer, not a help, and does far more harm than good overall, even though it does correct some wrong decisions.
          But at an unacceptable price in killing FUN, EXCITEMENT and AS YOU RIGHTLY SAY, MOMENTUM TOO.

  7. Reggie says:

    I want more decisions right than wrong and it is doing that by about 15% more right, it is supposed to be 98% right compared to 83% by fers alone. If it means waiting for something to be judged correctly, i dont give a fig how long. If they could just tell when they are going to take 3 minutes, i would be grateful because i could go and make myself a cup of tea or make love to the missus. Just get it right!

    1. Reggie says:

      Fers, where did that come from “refs”.

    2. jon fox says:

      Reggie I doubt three minutes for making love would satisfy my nor anyones missus. Always take me far longer than three minutes!

      1. Reggie says:

        Now you’re bragging Jon.

  8. Jax says:

    I prefer your argument in favour of VAR Jon. Something was needed to assist referees to make the correct on field decisions. Unfortunately it’s not being implemented fairly. Having a co-worker and fellow incompetant at Stockley Park is open to accusations of corrupt PGMOL practice. I’m not going to suggest Premier League officials are bent (I’ll leave that to another blog that specialises in conspiracy BS), but think there should be no PGMOL staff anywhere near the review monitors, which should be manned by a panel of possibly three independent professionals made up from a regular pool of ex players, managers, coaches, journalists etc. And the process needs to be speeded right up to help prevent the time wasted and also let’s hear what the referees & experts are saying to each other as in rugby.
    As for your suggestion of lengthy bans for simulation…just think how long we’d have been without Limpar & Pires if that had been the case.
    Excellent enjoyable article Jon, you should write more often.

    1. jon fox says:

      jax thanks for your serious minded input which I value! On your final point about L and P, my whole contention is not that we should benefit more -and we of course have had our fair shareof cheats and divers over the years , as do all clubs.

      My intention is to remove the cheating diving, play acting that has so tarnished our wonderful game (in growing amounts) really since the Prem was formed. We need to cure once and for all, this semi acceptance, that cheating is not great but IS ok if we are the beneficiaries.
      It is NEVER ok.
      AND THAT NEEDS SAYING AND STOPPING. PROPER FAN SUPPORT FOR REFS AND NOT ACCUSING THEM OF BEING CHEATS WOULD HELP GREATLY.

  9. ThirdManJW says:

    I said before VAR came out, it would be a disaster, and so it has proved.

    We can talk until we’re blue in the face what is going wrong with it: Is it being applied correctly, at the right time, who is making the decisions, etc.

    The simple fact, is that we have WAY more controversy than before.

    We see this with governments all the time. They bring in some policies that are great, some that are great, but don’t work at first, thus needing lots of amendments, and some that are a joke, forever getting amended, yet only get worse, and is, and will be, VAR!

    Very rarely do governments scrap policies, even if they are not working. They just keep amending the legislation on something that shouldn’t even exist (e.g. the welfare state), and I fear this will be the case with VAR. I expect in 5 years times, all fans will still be complaining about it, not to mention how much of the game we miss waiting on decisions.

    At the very least, fans are not getting value for money with VAR around.

  10. Grandad says:

    Very good article Jon.In my opinion, VAR should be restricted to goal line technology as decisions on fouls and penalties remain subjective in the eyes of the ref.As to offside, this should be decided by linesmen who should flag immediately the player is off, not on the completion of the move.Refs should come down hard on divers and those overreacting to physical contact.It’s a man’s game after all and physical contact is part and parcel of the sport.There are other ways of aiding referees.First of all a stop clock system , similar to that used in Rugby should be introduced and operated by a dedicated timekeeper and not the ref.The clock should be stopped whenever a player is injured or substituted , which would deem the time wasting tactic of slowly ambling off the pitch obsolete.At corner kicks , players on the attacking side should be precluded from entering the defending sides 6 yard box until the corner is taken.In this way the usual goalmouth melee which invariably results in the ref issuing warnings for shirt pulling, would be eliminated.These are simple measures which I think would be welcomed by referees who have enough on their plate .Like every else on the Planet referees are liable to human error.The fans respect for referees diminishes on every occasion VAR highlights a wrong decision, and some ignorant low lives resort to death threats on Social networks.We need to help referees , but since the introduction of VAR their job has become more challenging as they contend with numerous stoppages some of which last for up to 4/5 mins.The introduction of VAR has not helped refs and has reduced the spontaneous joy of the game for fans.The football authorities need to take a close look at certain rules of the game and undertake an honest review of VAR before disillusioned fans turn their back on our great game.

    1. jon fox says:

      Grandad, I just want to say how very much I admire your deep thinking posts that always actually SAY something of import with well descibed fine detail and why you think it.

      So many on here post just for the sake of seeing their name in print and have notrue thoughts at all of their own. They are a constant frustration to we thinking fans .

      Most of all I detest the general fan baiting and harrying of refs, which happens at all top level clubs. Some actually think it perfectly fair game to accuse hardworking refs – who have spent years climbing the pro ladder to reach elite level – cheats and biased . This is way out of order and quite outrageous abuse of decidated professional men, who they put through hell simply to satisfy their own pathetic one eyed bias.
      A mature person accepts that all humans are fallible , including ALL of us on JA, and allows that people are not perfect. It is cowardly and moronic of fans to routinely call refs biased!

      Something should and must be done to stop this libellous abuse. Were I a pro ref and some fan libelled me on a public forum such as this , I would immediately sue for damages from both the poster and the platform itself, JA.

      HOPEFULY ERE LONG SOME BRAVE REF WILL DO EXACTLY THIS THIS. I will cheer if someone does and only then can this regular abuse be stopped , BY LAW!

  11. PJ-SA says:

    Other option is refs get to relook at the incident only 3 times at full speed and have to make a call based on that(without the use of lines for offside)

    Handball should only be given if the shot is on target and stopped by a hand as it directly affects the game…..any other accidental handball should just be play on

  12. Fire says:

    Jon…

    It was really delightful reading your thoughtful article! For those who understand what it takes to convert thoughts into clearly written words and sentences in order to provide insights, will without doubt give due credit to you and to many other thoughtful writers here on JA!

    Your topic of discuss is truly an interesting one, particularly with many recent incidences surrounding the use of VAR. Although you have weaved through multiple problems in your article, it seems to me that your main problem with VAR is – it kills fun and excitement – in addition to stifling the spirit of the game. Nevertheless, you have provided alternative arguments supporting the added value of VAR, for which I must commend you.

    In my opinion, it is clear that the limitations of VAR lies with the error-prone human beings behind its use, and not with the technology. Since it provides some advantages, as you have mentioned, I would suggest that we need to work to alleviate its limitations, instead of stopping its use.

    Isn’t it baffling that VAR has been far more criticized in the EPL than in other leagues or in other FIFA competitions. It simply means it is used better in those climes, which indicates that it can be applied more efficiently and effectively as well in the EPL.

    The referees typically consult the side monitor for almost every other VAR observations except for the offside call. Consequently, it implies that the referee can always independently improve his/her decision(s) after careful review of an incidence. However, the VAR is ultimate in its decision when it concerns the offside call, and that is where my worry lies, and for which I believe there is need for improvement.

    In my opinion, I feel the offside line should be thickened to allow for errors that may arise from misjudging the exact time the ball may have left the attackers feet prior to the offside call. Since we can never pinpoint for sure when the ball leaves an attacker’s feet, then we shouldn’t be too strict on the use of such thin “hair-width” lines to judge a possible offside call.

    Summarily, the speed of decision can be improved just like in other sports where such technologies are employed properly, and in my opinion I will instead opt for the positive evolution of the use of the technology.

    Thank you once again for a thought-provoking article!! And looking forward to more from you Jon!

    Cheers!

    1. jon fox says:

      Interesting thoughts and in your usual kindly way Fire.
      I will be submitting a follow up article on the meaning andimportance of THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME , which encompasses my contention that we all need to have complete respect for decisions made by refs.

      I reject ,utterly, the common and to my mind biased criticism of refs as biased(which alleges they are cheating, which I find shockingly unfair). I fully accept and always have that many refs are not competent enough but unlike some, I allow that people are not perfect and will NEVER be so either.
      Technology only works completely properly when humans do not need to interpret it, like pens, handball and even offsides,which all take far too long to decide. A thicker drawn line would need to be metresthick and therefore meaningless to PROPERLY decide the precise moment the ball was kicked.

      There are , as I said, other inconsistencies in each game that people gladly overlook and some example are these: refs pacing 10 yards, NOT precisely measuring them; no final whistle , EVER, just before corner of dangerous free kick, BUT constant final whistles when the ball is in the air after a goal kick. This means flexible, instead of accurate time keeping by refs. But this deliberate inaccurate time keeping is rarely ever mentioned, not even on TV. Why not? Because it is considered in the spirit of the game. Corners taken JUST outside the corner marking, SOMETIMES but not always, checked by linesmen. Keepers when kicking from hands, often step JUST outside the area before releasing the ball. You see this countless times but it is never mentioned. Again why? SPIRIT OF THE GAME!

      IF we are to go down this dangerous road of total accuracy in SOME matters, while ignoring OTHER matters which are also law infringements, then our game becomes a shambles. Better to accept from the start that there will always be inconsistencies and NOT to routinely accuse refs of bias. Surely!!

      MY NEXT ARTICLE WILL EXPAND ON THE DAMAGE THIS FOOLISH THINKING IS DOING TO THE GAME WE ALL LOVE. Thanks for your interest .

      1. Fire says:

        Jon…

        My usual respect goes out to you! Thanks for your well constructed response and the opportunity to let superior reasoning lead the way!

        Your arguments against the labeling of referees as cheats is valid, more so because there are no concrete evidence(s) to support such claims of referees being cheats. I am totally with you on this!

        Just a final thought, particularly as you construct your follow-up article, with regards to events that are overlooked in the spirit of the game. I presume that many events, or decisions, which are typically overlooked are often events that don’t lead either to the acceptance/rejection of a goal. For example, non-exact measurement of the 10yards does not necessary warrant that a goal be canceled from a free kick. Inaccurate timing of the game does not necessarily warrant the acceptance/cancelation of a goal. Stepping outside the corner lines/18 yard box does not necessarily affect the acceptance/rejection of a goal, particularly as these are closely scrutinized by the linesman.

        However, actions that do affect whether a goal is accepted/rejected are the bone of contention, for which VAR plays an important role. These may include the offside rule, the goalie stepping out of the line during a penalty take, the case of a hand ball leading to a goal, or an infringement prior to a goal. These are actions that directly affect whether a goal should be allowed/disallowed.

        We see that since the above-mentioned events directly affect the outcome of a game in terms of winning/losing, it is essential to apply extra caution, particularly noting that the game now attracts so much money and investments more than any other time in its history.

        Summarily, my thinking is that we may need to weigh events that we overlook in the spirit of the game as against their direct effect on whether a goal is allowed/disallowed. Events that don’t affect the stance of a goal are generally often easier to overlook in the spirit of the game.

        Jon, these are again my humble opinions, which are subject to superior reasoning!

        As usual, glad to know you are alive as well as other fine souls on this site! Keep safe as always!

        Cheers!

        1. jon fox says:

          Fire Always a real joy to read your excellent posts Food for thought for my articletoo.
          I do take your point about the goals being by far themost critical bone of contention but I do think far wider still consideration should be given to the whole way we fans react and how the game is run in general, not merely refereed, but run by the football authorities. They need to be brought into the modern world.

          MANY fancy they ARE modern but I contend their thinking is largely unethical and retrograde, as they always put money and profit before people, whilst the younger wised up generation is learning the lessons that an ethical and moral way of living and behaving is far superior to the bad old ways of greed and profit above all else.

          The world is changing extremely fast, in so many ways but esp in social attitudes and TOP LEVEL PRO FOOTBALL IS IN DANGER OF BEING OUTSIDE MAINSTREAM SOCIAL MORES. It is already, IMO

          I want football to survive and prosper in an ethical way but it does not truly believe in, nor practise, real ethics. Nor do a percentage of fans.
          Football MUST modernise its thinking or perish as a worldwide sport. At present, it is lagging well behind civilised humanity, paying mere lip service to laudable ideas while not practising them. Cheating is rife and MUST be eradicated. This means changing the nature of win at all costs attitudes.

          1. Fire says:

            Jon…

            It’s always a great pleasure and a truly heart warming experience to have such a cordial, respectful, and educating discussion with you!

            I totally agree with you on the need to uphold the real ethics of true human virtues both socially and in football as well. The world seems to be lacking in such values, and only a few, like you, are still bold enough to speak up.

            We will throw our weight behind you and such ideals, with the hope that many will get educated and we can all slowly transform our respective climes.

            I look forward to your next educating and thought-provoking article!

            Please remain blessed and wishing you a blissful day!

            Cheers!!

  13. ken1945 says:

    Jon well written article and it provides the opportunity for sensible debate.

    Like those above, who question why VAR has been much more successful in its implementation and usage, we should ask why is that?

    Strangely enough, I believe it’s because of the foolhardiness of the PGMOL and the man who runs it, Mike Riley.

    Why was he insistent that the PL would use it differently to every other football association?
    Why were the referees instructed not to use the pitch side television to view contensious issues?
    Why are the only people permitted to give judgement and use VAR, members of his secretive “society” that answers to no one?
    As been proved by Dean’s two latest sending offs, completely inept individuals in my view.

    I disagree with you regarding VAR being the issue rather the people who run it, the people who officiate and the FA for being spineless in allowing Riley and his team to dictate how it is used and interpretated.

    In actual fact, waiting for a VAR decision is just as exciting and nerve wracking as a build up and scoring of a goal!!!

    As for Reggie’s three minutes, it’s HIM who is boasting, if my memory serves me well!!!
    GREAT ARTICLE.

    1. Reggie says:

      Ha ha ken. Can i just say, if our refs were better at their job than they are, VAR would be needed far less. The refs are not upto the job and that is why VAR is what it is and needed far more than it should. Remember it is run by refs as well. Its not VAR that is the problem ut the people who work it, THE REFS.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Agree 100% Reggie and I hope I made it clear in my post.
        Until PGMOL and Riley in particular, are revamped and held responsible for their actions, VAR will be misjudged because of their ineptitude.

        1. Reggie says:

          I really dony know why ex footballers aren’t involved in the process of VAR, not actually refereeing, just the nuts and bolts of what best and what not in decision making.

    2. jon fox says:

      Thoughtful comments KEN, AND MY THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST. Suggest you look at my reply to FIRES USUAL KIND POST.

      Despite me being in a clear minority in wanting VAR banned, on this site , I contend that the wider fan world DEFINITELY want it gone. I listen to phone ins and visit other fan sites( where MY own reputation as a plain speaker is not known and not therefore routinely combatted, as on JA, which is a factor on JA).
      On Riley, I agree he is not fit for purpose and should be sacked. I have long thought this.
      I also never said that those who decide VAR are innocent of incompetence, as you seem to assume. I never said all refs are competent enough either; most are not.

      But they are NOT cheats , I do not cross that line of alleging they are in fact disgracing their profession by deliberate bias , as even you, of all people, have done at times and which saddens me a lot. I think that all people who disgrace their profession should be sacked. Those who fail deliberately to give their very best, honestly and wholeheartedly.

      A true professional is someone who HONOURS their profession by giving their honest, hard working , VERY BEST endeavours, always, day in day out.
      MUCH MORE TO COME IN MY FOLLOW UP ARTICLE ON THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME. Take care old chum!

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