Mixed reaction on social media as VAR set for use at the World Cup
Video assisted refereeing has been unanimously approved by the IFAB.
Video Assistant Referees look set to be used at this year’s World Cup in Russia.
After recent scrutiny for its use in the FA Cup, VAR was unanimously approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) at their annual general meeting in Zurich.
The decision makes it almost certain the Fifa council will sanction VAR’s use at Russia 2018 later this month.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino called the step “very important news” and said VAR is “good for football” and “brings more fairness” to the game, but the reaction from elsewhere has been mixed.
It’s official, VAR is here to stay and will be used at this Summer’s World Cup. What could possibly go wrong?— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 3, 2018
Some, professional footballers included, were decidedly against the decision, suggesting it could “ruin” the competition and “kills” the game of football.
Surely VAR should be up to players not the clubs ? We don’t need it , kills the game— Joshua Windass (@WindassJnr) March 3, 2018
I’ve not said much about VAR since the Confeds Cup, because while it is an utter shambles, it is a trial and they can learn from it. That said, I’ll offer this prediction: it’ll ruin the World Cup and they’ll have to decide again whether to keep using it.— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) March 3, 2018
VAR trials in England have drawn particular criticism for the length of time decisions take to make and the fact crowds are no kept informed of what is going on.
Perhaps with this in mind, some on Twitter agreed with Infantino’s suggestion it would bring more fairness to the game, but said that it “might not be the most enjoyable” to watch.
VAR will mean games are won more fairly at the World Cup, but if amazing moments in football are ruled out due to a decision, might not be the most enjoyable.— Jordan Clarke (@FourFourJordan) March 3, 2018
On the other hand, some couldn’t understand complaints about the decision and preferred the idea of matches with fewer refereeing mistakes.
Why is everyone complaining? Like you can't wait a minute to celebrate goal? Lol...— Tony (@FCBTony_) March 3, 2018
I rather wait and have a mistake corrected than blame a loss on a reff. https://t.co/1TpiBvWYX4
VAR has been experimented in roughly 1,000 matches, and according to FIFA the level of accuracy of decisions was 99 per cent.
Despite this, some suggested the decision was not hinged upon the testing process VAR has been through, but instead had been made some time ago.
It feels like the decision to roll out VAR at the World Cup was made long ago, regardless of testing feedback. The key question is whether it's being pushed by a desire to make the game better or by political/commercial interests— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) March 3, 2018
By contrast, football commentator Derek Rae cautioned against people basing their views on the new technology on events in the UK.
Some are pro-VAR and others against. That’s fine. But we must be careful not to view everything through a PL/FA Cup prism. Trials have been going on more extensively in many other countries for much longer. England is late to the party and going through the teething phase.— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) March 3, 2018
Finally, perhaps the most unanimous agreement about VAR was that discussion about it isn’t going away.
2018 World Cup discussion prediction:— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) March 3, 2018
5 % Belgium
7 % Messi
7 % Ronaldo
6% Other nations
55% VAR 😬🏆