Video Assistant Referred (VAR) was introduced with the aim of improving the referee’s decision-making. Some people like it, and others loathe it, but whichever the case, this technology appears to be here to stay. But have it enhanced football or worsened it? Unlike other sports, such as NBA and NFL, football is a ‘free-flowing’ and not a ‘stop-start’ game. Unfortunately, with the constant VAR interventions, the game is subject to stoppages and delays since some VAR decisions are often lengthy.
History of VAR
The first implementation of technology in football was at the 2014 World Cup. This technology came after the controversial strike by Frank Lampard for England against Germany. During the match, the official failed to give the goal that had clearly crossed the goalline. VAR was first used in a major tournament in 2017 during the FIFA Confederations Cup.
It would later be implemented in other major leagues, such as Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, and Ligue 1. Although it took time for the Premier League to embrace the technology, the pressure was quickly mounting. VAR was eventually implemented in the English Premier League in 2019.
Impact of the Implementation of VAR
With the ever-changing technology, the sporting industry has seen a massive adjustment over the years. These changes have impacted not only the players but also enthusiastic punters. For instance, the introduction of mobile gambling sites and betting apps have enhanced the overall betting experience. Similarly, VAR has also transformed the football scene. With the wide usage of the VAR, several studies have assessed its impact. Some of the published findings include the following;
Since the implementation of the VAR system, the number of fouls and red cards has significantly decreased.
The total playing time has also increased in both the first and second half. Basically, the game lasts longer, especially during the second half.
In the 2018-19 La Liga campaign, the VAR intervened in 27% of the games.
During the 2018 World Cup, the referees’ sensible decisions increased from 95% to 99.32%
The referee’s bias toward the favorite teams did not change. Such matches are likely to go to extra time when the best teams are losing.
In conclusion, the implementation of VAR in high-level football does not seem to significantly influence the game. However, it has had its pros and cons, as outlined below.
Pros of VAR
Better decision making-VAR boosts the referees’ ability to make informed decisions. With the help of the VAR, it is possible to overturn a decision, and the referee has a second chance to make the right decision.
Makes the game exciting– VAR checks fuel suspense and drama during the match, making the game exciting to watch. The games create high enthusiasm as the fans from both teams waits for the final decision. For punters, one decision could change the results of your bet, making sports betting fun. Thankfully, with betting sites such as Sports Interaction, you can use the cashout option, which allows you to close your bet before a huge decision by the referee.
Upholding players’ discipline. Player discipline is crucial in any sport, and during an engaging match, referees may miss crucial incidence which could impact the outcome of matches. VAR is a valuable tool that can help maintain discipline.
Cons of VAR
Time wastage. VAR decisions take time since they involve analysis. During this time, the team that wants to win feels disadvantaged since it slows the game’s momentum.
Lack of transparency. The referee and the VAR team mainly make decisions, and the fans cannot access such conversations.
Referees rely more on technology. With the introduction of VAR, referees have become more dependent on the tech. This, to some extent, affects their effectiveness in making decisions.