Gareth Evans is one of Pompey’s most popular players. In the third of four columns, he assesses the impact of VAR…
There is no question in my mind that VAR is ruining the game.
The controversial introduction this season has not only left fans dismayed, but the players as well.
Every major incident is now referred to the video assistant referee as a way of extinguishing any injustice during the game. This, coupled with the fact that its introduction was merely to bring the Premier League in line with other countries such as Germany and Italy, makes it all seem legit.
In practice, though, it is taking away all the spontaneity of a goal, celebrations are becoming muted and the game’s flow hugely tampered with.
Granted, there have been contentious goals given in the game, such as Maradona’s infamous handball or Thierry Henry’s for that matter. The idea is to eradicate this happening ever again.
But to see players celebrate, then waiting five minutes for the review, then celebrating again if it’s given, just seems bizarre to me.
I can’t say I’ve experienced VAR while in a stadium yet, but I can imagine it is as painful as watching a live television game.
Three weeks into the use of VAR and it seems like every pundit, reporter and journalist finds themselves talking about it after the game rather than the match itself.
This, I’m sure, isn’t what the authorities envisaged when they came up with the idea.
There are sports where VAR makes a lot of sense, such as cricket, but I just don’t believe football fits in.
The main decisions we are seeing reviewed are offside issues, this was a rule introduced to prevent ‘goal hanging’. It has now got to the point where goals are being chalked off because an attacker’s armpit was offside, just ridiculous!
The pursuit of perfection in refereeing decisions seemed a good idea at the time, but just isn’t working. There’s always going to be grey areas in the game, such as whether it was handball or not.
In my opinion, the sooner the FA intervene and knock VAR on the head, the better.