The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. England vs Germany. Lampard’s long-range effort hit the bar, bounced off the ground once, before Neur gathered it safely in his hands. Except it wasn’t safe. What the officials had failed to notice, and which the video replays clearly sho
wed, was that the ball had crossed the goal line before bouncing back into play. Lampard was denied a screamer and England a goal. Had it not been for the fact that Germany won a definitive 4-1 victory, there could have been a lot more uproar over the already quite controversial incident.
We have come a long way since then. With the implementation of the goal line technology, there can no longer be any mistakes with such a crucial decision in the game. Though some leagues, like the La Liga, have still not implemented this, the decision was due to financial reasons rather than any shortcomings of such a system. In fact, there are no shortcomings. However, that is more than can be said of the VAR.
The Visual Assistant Referee, is a system where an official takes the help of video replay to help with controversial decisions. Now, the most important difference with this system is that, unlike GLT, there are a lot of grey areas with the VAR decisions. Recently coming into news for being used in England’s 3-2 win over France, it was instrumental in Varane being sent off and England winning the penalty. The VAR again reared its ugly head for France when they were denied a goal and their opponents, Spain, allowed one, leaving them to lose the game 2-0.
Now in spite of a lot of criticism, mostly about taking the spontaneity out of the game and damaging its flow, it must be said t
hat all the decisions taken were correct. Varane’s sending off might have been a bit dicey, but then again, when is a red card not? And with gamesmanship gaining popularity among some players, now might be the time for such a system to weed out such backhanded tactics. Already implemented in the A-league in
Australia, it has had its share of both wins and fails. However, though it is not perfect, it may be crucial in shifting the discussion from bad refereeing decisions, as has become the norm in recent times, to actual football. But like with any change, it is being met with harsh skepticism and fierce resistance. It remains to be seen whether this experiment will stand the test of time.
What do you think about VAR and its impact. Do let us know in the comments.
Pic courtesy: Goal.com , Getty Images, Fox world