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The Importance of VAR

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Apologies to any Vancouver fans that disagree, but I feel like this was one of the most extreme examples of VAR gone wrong.

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2019/06/30/golazo-chip-seattle-sounders-teen-danny-leyva-erased-after-video-review

It took nearly 4 minutes to decide there was a clear and obvious foul when the keeper slid underneath the shooter's foot and the shooter's foot came down (as one does after shooting) and happened to go onto the keeper's foot. Are we really better off without this 16 year old scoring a brilliant goal on his debut? Of course this is as anecdotal as it gets, but stuff like this is way more frustrating for me (and I am a TFC fan that hates Seattle) than if a ref gets a call wrong the old fashioned way, where you don't know how good their view was, and they have to make a split second decision.

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Oh VAR. When you look at the White equalizer in the England USA game, it is painful that that was disallowed. Granted she was a mm or two offside, so it was technically correct, but that hurt to see. Those margins are far too small. The naked eye is a far better barometer in most cases. 

Now, watching Haiti v Mexico, I wanted VAR to overturn the penalty because I thought it was weak and wrong.  But in the end I think I’m ok with the penalty being given. 

I spoke with a former WNT member, and she raves about VAR. She referenced Canada v England in 1995 WC, that had it existed Canada wins that game.  So maybe players like it, and to hell with us. 

In the end though, why not just referee the game from a screen?  Honestly, if all we care about is getting it right, then get rid of the refs altogether. But there’s more to it than that, and so we’re trying to blend refs with VAR and it isn’t working well. 

Edited by RJB

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I think once VAR is used in all the major national team competitions and in the top 20 leagues, they should change the offsides to full torso or both feet over in order to reduce VAR involvement and avoid very close calls like the England disallowed goal.

Speed of VAR implementation should improve as time passes.

The other issues with VAR are basically due to weak refs. VAR was largely good in the men's WC where the best refs were available. We know there is questionable refereeing in certain regions and leagues and over use of gamesmanship by certain players.

And VAR is showing these flaws in the women's WC where I always thought many of the ARs make too many errors calling offsides and the depth of experienced female head refs is shallow. Likewise with MLS, VAR is showing how the level of refs is very inconsistent, some are quite poor and ref body directives are a bit muddled.

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Michael Boys, FIFA coordinator, admits that in the Copa America which is a Conmebol tournament they used half the number of cameras than in full FIFA tournaments like a WC.  Cheap bastards!

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On 7/3/2019 at 10:57 AM, RJB said:

In the end though, why not just referee the game from a screen?  Honestly, if all we care about is getting it right, then get rid of the refs altogether. But there’s more to it than that, and so we’re trying to blend refs with VAR and it isn’t working well. 

This is the logical conclusion with the obsession with accuracy and justice. Eventually maybe it will be like an exam. Two teams go on the field, they play soccer, then video of that game is sent to a team of refs/judges. A week later we find out what the score was.

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