Belfast Telegraph

New system is still a video nasty

By Steven Davis

I have to be honest and say that I was never an advocate of VAR (Video Assistant Referees) in any way, shape or form. That was until we had the by now infamous bad decision go against Northern Ireland in the World Cup play-off against Switzerland.

Had VAR been available at Windsor Park in November, obviously the penalty for the Swiss wouldn't have been given.

In a World Cup when there is so much riding on the results, I now appreciate VAR can be a useful tool when used properly, so yes, there is a place for it in the game.

I would add, though, that I don't believe there has been consistency with it in the tournament so far, and for me it's consistency with decisions which players and fans want.

It's funny because VAR was brought in to try and end controversy over refereeing decisions, but that hasn't been the case so far in the World Cup.

There are still decisions you would question, in particular decisions that should have gone to VAR but didn't, such as the challenges on Harry Kane at set-pieces during England v Tunisia.

You would hope that by using VAR, referees would get more decisions right than wrong, especially the big decisions, but in this tournament I believe those in charge of the system still have work to do to get everything right.

Belfast Telegraph

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