VAR has become torment – relief has replaced joy


By Simon Leyland

Another game, another welcome three points and another example of why VAR is ruining the game

What was the point of introducing VAR? Well, as you’ll remember, it was to correct glaring errors, wasn’t it? It was to make things more fair.

It has failed on both counts.

When it was sold to us, it was not imagined, let alone expressed that this technology would actually make errors, just as the referees on the pitch always have. It was not made clear that it would be subject to the same vagaries of human fallibility as the on-pitch referee, only transposed to Stockley Park.

No, we were sold a system that would work in a narrow and specific way. But, of course, it hasn’t delivered the brave new world promised and is little more than a bloke in a darkened room looking at a screen with line-drawing software.

VAR has utterly ruined every goal because as soon as the ball goes in the net and everyone starts celebrating, VAR hangs like a curse over proceedings.

Time and again, the atmosphere sinks like a lead balloon and the players start hanging around for up to five minutes, like lost children, waiting for approval from on high.

That cheer when the goal is given, that’s not joy, that’s relief. All the joy of scoring the goal in the first place is now lost. This awful feeling of cynicism when a goal goes in is entirely new, a product of VAR and is against the very spirit of football. Every time a goal is scored, the first thing you do is look at the screen, hoping it won’t turn purple.

It’s a sort of torment

The VAR was only supposed to intervene for absolute howlers – when they think the ref has made a clear and obvious error. But this is simply untrue.

It doesn’t.

How do I know?

Because if it’s taking four minutes to decide whether a mistake has been made, it can’t, de facto, be clear or obvious. Things that are clear and obvious are clear and obvious otherwise you don’t call them clear and obvious, do you?

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  • lokfaen says:

    Whilst I agree with all you say above, our goal yesterday would have been (incorrectly) ruled offside if not for VAR. The linesman had his flag up

  • keith astley says:

    Get what your saying about not being able to celebrate a goal sometimes but without VAR our goal would not have stood yesterday. Those extra 2 points at the end of the season could prove priceless.

  • hammerpete6 says:

    VAR is a valuable tool if applied properly and yesterday they got it right. Problem lies with taking nearly four minutes. They need definitive rules for ‘leaning body parts’ and much more decisive application of ‘rules’. Beats me why they changed rules like handball and offside with the onset of VAR. It wasn’t broke, we just needed fairer decisions – still applies, but don’t take all day!!

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