VAR, which is short for Video Assistant Referee, has had its shortcomings, and it’s fair to say it has cast a dark shadow over football for the most part.
Since arriving on the scene in most of Europe’s top leagues during the 2017/18 season, fans have been left seething after seeing controversial decisions regularly go against their team.
Managers and players have been quick to bemoan the use of VAR, which is generally monitored, and controlled by ex-referees who aren’t even in the ground when the game is on.
VAR hasn’t just caused problems with decisions over goals, it has also caused debate over fouls, and whether the official should award a red card in some circumstances.
In many cases, there have been times when the linesman has raised his flag late for offside, but then replays have shown that a player’s leg was offside, and that in itself, has caused confusion over what is deemed offside or not.
Unlike some sports, such as rugby, where VAR seems to work seamlessly, the same can’t be said about football, and it appears to be rather unnatural.
At the moment, FIFA is trialling out new VAR technology in a bid to bring an end to any confusion about marginal offside calls, and this was experimented in the FIFA Club World Cup last week.
Speaking about the new tool, Pierluigi Collina, who is chairman of FIFA’s referee committee said: “I know that for headlines ‘robot offside’ or something very similar is very easy.
But this is not the case. You have seen that the technology is simply a tool used by a human being.
The match officials are involved in the decision-making process, and they are responsible for the final decision taken.
It is a tool available to increase accuracy and improve the time, something quicker.
There may well be some infuriated with the way VAR has been deployed. However, that shouldn’t detract from the way the beautiful game has captivated the hearts and minds of fans across the world, and it provides unscripted drama. You will also find fans across the globe, who will bet week in, week out on football. There are bookmakers on the sub-continent that are renowned for providing great markets, such as the Total/Under goals, or final result. For example, at the best betting sites in India, such as Casumo and Parimatch, you will discover a wealth of markets, and most of the reputable sites will have a betting calculator embedded on the site, which will work out your potential winnings, depending on your stake size, as well as the odds that have been advertised.
Of course, VAR has changed football in a way that few would have thought were possible.
While fans will be happy to bleat about the failings of VAR, it is supposed to help referees make their jobs easier, especially as human errors had crept into the game before VAR made an appearance.
Although it has more often than not, courted negative headlines, it is clear that VAR is not going in a hurry. We can expect there to be adjustments made in time for next season, and maybe there might be a sea change in attitudes in the future.