Referees Can Avoid Mistake Calls with VAR

By Chase Thomas

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It was the Summer of 1986. Argentina and England were pitted against each other in the World Cup quarter finals. England was dominating the match until a counter attack by the Argentinian team led to a goal scored by Diego Maradona with an obvious handball in the 51st minute. This moment went down in history as the hand of god goal, which the referee either missed or just didn’t call. As a result Argentina took control of the match, eventually winning 2-0. 

Video assistant referee (VAR) is used in some major soccer leagues such as Serie A and Bundesliga, but not all. It will also being used in the upcoming World Cup. VAR is a group of referees that review incidents that happened during a soccer match to help the referee make the correct call according to The Mirror. For example reversing a decision a referee makes on whether a goal is scored or not. The installation of VAR in all professional soccer leagues would help the referees have a easier time making calls, knowing that there is a backup if they make the wrong call.

VAR helps with making correct calls or correcting calls in a soccer match. Eighteen key decisions were overturned in the 90 matches it has been used in so far, either on the unsolicited advice of VAR or with the help of VAR, as requested by the referee. Of those 18, one decision was hugely contentious in the fact that the call could have went either way, but VAR made the decision easier to make, says ESPN.

The opposing opinion is that VAR interrupts the flow of the game and slows the game down each time calls have to be reviewed. On the other hand, it’s disappointing and makes the game less exciting when a referee makes a bad call against your team, especially if the call alters the result of the game. For example, in the Manchester Derby: Manchester City against Manchester United. The score was 2-1 and within the last 10 minutes Sergio Agüro was obviously fouled in the box, which would have been a penalty kick. Instead the referee either didn’t call the foul or did not see it. This play caused Manchester city to lose. With the installment VAR, they would’ve had a better chance of winning.

“If there had been a review of the play, they’re would not have been an offsides,” said junior Caleb Gonzales, whos is a varsity soccer player. .

Even with VAR, there will still be controversial calls in soccer. But with it, it will make them as correct as possible and better soccer as a whole.

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