Video-assisted refereeing or VAR should not be used at the 2018 Russian World Cup. The new technology is making a statement in football, however, it needs to be improved or set aside because it is not changing football for the better. The new concept would slow down football, broaden the gap between amateur and professional football, and be very costly.
The use of VAR in football is a new approach to consistently make game-changing decisions correctly. However, despite the intentions, VAR has made football a much slower and less interesting game. World-class goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon quoted “They are overusing it and making mistakes. I don’t like it this way, it’s not good.” This quote from a highly qualified player implies that the technology may not be suitable for a World Cup. Having seen a match played using VAR, it is clear that players are hesitant to go in for tackles, and play is much safer than it normally would be. As well as the game being less rough, it slows down play.
When the referee has to stop play and wait for the decision to be made, it forces everyone to wait anxiously. A top class midfielder, Sami Khedira quoted “At the moment it’s a disaster. It’s all a big jumble. The players do not know anymore whether or not to celebrate after a goal.
A lot of emotion and passion has been lost.” This quote proves that VAR can take a lot of passion out of the game because players can’t always immediately celebrate a goal. Even if a goal is given, a certain level of excitement will already have left the fans and players during the wait. Other players have stated their opinion of the new technology, and most agree it needs to be improved before taken into use officially.Another strong reason VAR should not be used at the 2018 world cup is that it widens the gap between amateur and professional football. Matches played in lower leagues and youth football won’t be able to afford anything close to VAR.
The price of implementing VAR in a football match is unspecified, but would definitely be expensive. The different camera angles would be almost impossible to achieve in a non-top league side. This gap would lead to professional football being different to amateur football and it would dishearten young players who aren’t good enough to be professional.
The final reason VAR should not be used for the World Cup is that referees can be biased. The referee who views the replay on the camera can be biased without people realizing at the time. If a bias decision is made on the pitch, everyone can see it. However, if a bias decision is made using VAR, only the referee viewing the replay can see the replays. This situation was proven when German referee, Krug, was fired for “VAR controversy,” after the match Schalke 04 vs Wolfsburg.
Although, this is not the only sign of VAR controversy. There have been numerous matches where referees have been under examination for questionable decisions. Just searching “VAR controversy” online will present you with enough evidence to want rid of VAR.Despite all of the negatives, there are reasons why VAR could be a good thing. The intentions are to find a way to make consistently correct decisions, which is something that should be experimented with. Nonetheless, VAR is far from perfect and is not at a level where it should be used at something as important as the World Cup.
It is clear that VAR is a good start, however, the technology needs to be developed and improved before used officially.Slowing down play, making football less rough, expense, and bias referees are all valid reasons why VAR should not be used at the 2018 Russian World Cup. VAR does not solve the problem of referees making mistakes, and only slows down the play and angers the fans. VAR is a long way from usable at a high level of football and should be set aside for later World Cups.