Apr. 20, 2017
The Case for Video Referee's
In light of recent refereeing blunders, the case for having video referees in football has only intensified with players and managers publicly backing the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) into the modern game. It's actually quite funny that this technology has still not been introduced, given the fact that technology already plays a major role in many football matches. The Goal Decision system is already in place in many major leagues, and it has arguably eliminated human error in numerous cases. It is ironic how the today, football is hugely different to 20-30 years ago, yet referees remain the same. Lets face it, Referees are only human, and they are prone to slip ups now and again, but these slip ups cause controversy and cost teams trophies.
Just ask Bayern Munich, who would feel that they were wrongly denied a place in the Quarter Final yesterday, after a host of dodgy decisions went against their team. Arturo Vidal was controversially sent off moments after Casemiro should have received his marching order for Real Madrid. To rub salt into the wound, Real Madrid wrongly scored 2 offside goals in extra time to dump the German Champions out of the competition.
Speaking after the game, Vidal claimed that Bayern Munich were "robbed" at the hands of referee Viktor Kassai. He also admitted that it was the referee, not Los Blancos who was responsible for Bayern bowing out of the competition.
"In a game of such intensity the result cannot be decided by the referee. The referee has eliminated us."-Arturo Vidal
The manager Carlo Ancelotti also admitted that the referee had a bad game. Arguably, this controversy could have been easily averted with the help of technology. The referral system has already been extensively tested, including a friendly between Spain and France where it disallowed an offside goal. That begs the question, we have the technology, but why are we not using it?
Managers, players, pundits have all long been calling for the use of technology, and FIFA hopes to have the technology ready for the 2018 world cup.
"I hope that really soon in the future the referee can be helped by TV."- Ancelotti
Video Referee's not only improve the quality of officiating in tense games, but also discourage the players of deception. With the use of the technology, players will think twice about diving, knowing the referee has the benefit of the technology and will not argue as much with officials. Due to unjust calls in tight games, more often than not players argue with referees's which is totally against the spirit of the game, and technology can remove this underlying problem from the game.
As for the argument that so many referrals can "kill the flow of the traditional game", referees are encouraged to keep the usage at "minimum interference". This will allow it to only be used to over turn clear errors in match changing situations. However, football does not want to go down the dark path that leagues and sports like the NFL and Cricket have gone down, where everything is constantly referred. The purpose of the VAR is not for 100% accuracy ,it is to remove headline mistakes and bring honesty back into the beautiful game.
The VAR will also work at removing the apparent bias that fans feel towards elite clubs like Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Just recently there was a massive scandal about corruption in the game, the technology can effectively work towards removing this bias.
This technology allows technological transparency in the game. When Barcelona overturned a 4-0 deficit to beat PSG 6-1, the spirit of the players was not the headline, but the contentious call made by the referee in awarding Barcelona a match changing penalty. VAR could really have helped in this situation.
In conclusion, the inclusion of VAR is essentially a no-brainer as it would effectively change the landscape of football as we know it. For quite some time now, there has been whispers of corruption brewing in football, refereeing bias, players dishonesty, VAR will not remove referees from the game, but only serve to strengthen their authority.
The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee allows football to take center stage again - not decisions
Leave your views down in the comments section on the practicality of video referees in football and dont forget to like and subscribe if you enjoyed the content.