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VAR Needs to Evolve

Video Assistance Referee (VAR) is used to assist the referee's make better decisions. Fortunately, referees are not allowed to use VAR anytime they want or else a soccer match will become a 130 minutes game swamped with many stoppages for VAR reviews.

Should teams not get 2 chances to review any decision like they do in cricket to not interrupt the game as much as it is happening now! Why, is every goal asked to be reviewed by VAR.

What is VAR not used for in a game

1 Free kick decisions

In the game against Inter Milian versus Juventus, a handball was reviewed against Romelu Lukaku by VAR, VAR found the Inter Milian striker to be guilty of handball but it was not in the penalty box, which meant VAR could not give a penalty. But then it was a clear free kick in a goal scoring position for CR7 but because VAR cannot be used to review free kicks, the free kick was not given to Inter Milan! Juventus did go on to win the game but they would have complained about the decision should the results have gone the other way.

2 Yellow card decision

VAR is not allowed to be used to review yellow card decisions even if it is for a second yellow which leads to a red card. This is clearly unfair and can be abused by the referee's wanting to overcome VAR. Players can also be suspended if they have accumulated a number of yellow cards over time.

3 Dispute referees decision not resulting in a goal

VAR cannot be used to dispute the referee's decision not resulting in a goal. They are many decisions referee's and assistance referee's make that are not correct, some decisions can hamper to flow and the momentum of the game and can give a small advantage to the opposition team. For example, a decision for awarding or not awarding a corner kick or even a throw-in against a team with a good throw-in player, who can put the ball in the box from the touchline, can be frustrating especially in the final minutes of the game. 

4 Added Time

VAR should be used to calculate time wasting tactics and player injury stoppages, player substitutions, and any stop to the game which is not legal, to accurately calculate the amount of time added according to law 7 - duration of the match. The referee is not always best suited to calculate added time, especially in time delaying tactics and injuries, because he does not stop his watch immediately.

5 Second bookable Yellow card offense

In this case, the referee should review the fouls made by player to check if they warrant a red car.

6 Goal kick rule encroachment

With the new goal kick rule, it is impossible for the referee to determine if opposition players have moved into the penalty box before the ball is kicked. Obviously, if a goal is scored it can be reviewed. But it can break the momentum of a team if opposition players are allowed to steal a yard or two by the referee. This will result in teams being unable to play from the back and will force teams to not play from the back because of the unfair advantage gained. This was evident in the game against Arsenal FC and Watford FC on the 15th of September 2019.

What would players or captains like to review?

1 Yellow card review

A player or captain would like to review a yellow card decision if the player is on the last yellow card before suspension in league or cup competition. This can be important to prevent players from being suspended because of a soft yellow card decision or for a mistake in identity.

Soccer teams may also want to review a yellow card decision from a referee which they believe to have made an incorrect decision by not giving a red card.

2 Free kick Decisions

Defending teams would like to review a free kick decision in a dangerous position that could result in a goal being scored. Especially in the last minutes of the game, when scores are level or team is in a winning position.

These changes will remove the abuse referee's get from opposition players every time there is a goal.

More Reading

What else do you think VAR should be used for? Please leave your comments below.


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