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Should VAR be used in football? Show more Show less
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The video assistant referee (VAR) has proven highly controversial since its introduction in FIFA's Laws of the Game in 2018, after years of calls for video to be used. Has it helped make football fairer or is it destroying the spectacle of the beautiful game?

Yes. VAR is a net positive to the game Show more Show less

VAR makes the game better and thus should continue to be used
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VAR should lead to less complaining

Players swarming the referee after a bad decision can completely disrupt a match, and often complaints overshadow the events on the pitch entirely. If the referee could see everything clearly on video there should be less tedious controversy.

Context

VAR stands for Video assistance referee and is a new way technology is used to help football referees on the field when they make decisions. They are mainly used for determining goals, penalty decisions, direct red cards or mistaken identity incidents. The video footage helps the referee to take a decision after viewing the video material. Anyhow, the use of VAR is controversially discussed as it could potentially underpin the role of the referee on the field.

The Argument

The use of VAR in football is an important tool to reduce controversies and delays due to unclarities on the pitch. Everyone is familiar with the heated discussions between players and the referee after a decision that is deemed to be unfair or unclear to one of the two teams on the pitch. Oftentimes, the heated emotions are echoed by the fans that can demonstrate their anger in ways that interrupt the flow of the game. VAR is of great use to ease these situations by offering footage of the incident in question from different angles. The footage can be replayed and analysed with different speeds to help the referee get a better overview of what has really happened on the pitch. With this information, a more informed decision can be made that leads to an overall fairer outcome that should reduce the complaints of players and fans during the game. VAR makes the decisions less open to criticism due to transparency on what it is based on. Overall, it rationalises the decisions of the referee and makes him less prone to complaints of being corrupt or guided by emotions.

Counter arguments

VAR will not lead to less complaining as it is a highly controversial technology itself. Decisions that are based on it are equally questioned as it was prominently the case with the last British Premier League. The time that is saved because players don’t directly complain to the referee is lost to the effort of viewing the video footage. This is a far lengthier interruption of the game than traditional interruption caused after a controversial decision.

Proponents

Framing

Complaints will reduce with more transparency on the referee’s decisions.

Premises

Facts cannot be challenged.

Rejecting the premises

Facts don’t eradicate controversy.

References

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    This page was last edited on Thursday, 1 Oct 2020 at 07:34 UTC

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