I’M sorry, call me a dinosaur if you want — but the Video Assistant Referee system is just madness.
Facts are facts and opinions are opinions. And that’s exactly the problem.
The majority of calls referees make are subjective, not based on facts.
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Look, goal-line technology is great — it’s black and white. Did the ball cross the line? Yes or no?
Mistaken identity is fine. Was it him? Yes or no? But the other three areas that are open to VAR are subjective.
Decisions which affect goals, red cards and penalty shouts.
They are all major grey areas. If you put five refs in a truck looking at video of an offside incident that led to a goal, they could easily have five different opinions.
How does that help? Take Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal in Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final win against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
A cross came in, he was offside. The ball was cleared, then crossed again, and he scored. Well, for me, he should have been given offside.
He was interfering with play by forcing the defender to clear. But someone else could argue he wasn’t interfering.
So if that decision had gone to VAR what would have been the upshot?
Someone’s opinion, that’s what. Why not stick with the linesman’s opinion then?
And they want to look at decisions that affect GOALS? How loose a definition is that? How far do you go back?
If there’s a throw-in on the halfway line and it’s taken five yards too far forward and leads to a goal, should that be disallowed on review? Where do you draw the line?
There was an Australian A-League game last month between Wellington and Sydney FC where a ‘goal’ was scored and given.
But the linesman ruled it out because, in his opinion, another striker was offside and stopping a defender getting back to tackle.
The referee went to VAR. Their decision was it should be a goal, so the ref gave it.
Wrongly, in my opinion. But that’s the point — it’s only an OPINION. Three people, two opinions, one incident!
Forget VAR and simplify the rules. Offside is so complicated.
I know it was changed to favour attackers but it’s very confusing. Drop the interference element.
If you’re offside, then you’re offside. There would be no need for VAR.
Next, diving. There were some penalties last weekend after players supposedly dived.
No doubt with VAR we’d have been up and down and reaching different conclusions.
So bring in a rule where if a player is guilty of diving, which I hate, they are retrospectively banned for a game. Do it again, two games and so on.
People complain that it’s no good after the game is over. But the diving would stop within two weeks.
You could only do it for obvious dives — but the point is — all diving would stop.
Next, refs must give penalties even if players don’t hit the deck. Philippe Coutinho was kicked in the box recently, stumbled but didn’t fall, and the ref didn’t give it. That only encourages diving.
Sort it out and there would be no need for video games.