In recent tournaments like the U20 World cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) have experimented with the use of Video Assistant Referees (VAR).
The idea in in sync with the new technology integration in the game and the main aim is to give the referees a second chance at making result-altering decisions like penalties, offside goals, red card offences, amongst others.
Like in every innovation, there will always be pros and cons — but in this case how do they balance out?
The major positive of VAR is no matter how long it takes and how many times the incidents are reviewed, bad decisions can no longer hide under the radar of “in the heat of the moment” or “the referee missed the incident” as the replays give the referees a second chance to mend the initial error.
It falls in line with the goal line technology innovation which strikes out a lot of controversy from the game because it rules out the “human error” factor.
However, some might argue that controversy is what makes football more enjoyable.
Imagine what football will be like without Maradona’s “Hand of God” in the 1986 World cup (Argentina went on to win) or a Luis Garcia “Ghost goal” during the 04/05 Champions league (Liverpool went on to win) or even Frank Lampard’s goal that never was at the 2010 World cup (Come on.. you Know England cannot win the World Cup) or more recently Barcelona’s 6-1 comeback win v PSG which was filled with a lot of dubious decisions.
Football history might not be complete. Imagine scoring a goal then waiting for about a minute for verification from the VARs before you can celebrate properly.
Is sacrificing all of this worth it for the “right decision”?
Let us know your thoughts.