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< Back to question Should VAR be used in football? Show more Show less

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 makes the game fairer

VAR prevents teams from being denied victories by poor refereeing decisions or outright cheating. Ultimately, the officals' role is to be as impartial and fair as possible and so officials having the greatest amount of information is always good for the game.
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Proponents


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

VAR plays a crucial role in increasing the fairness in football as it allows the referee to make a more informed decision on incidents. Since it is in use, it has allowed for victories to be more impartial and not the result of a mistake of a referee or fool play that wasn’t detected. In that sense, it makes the chances of teams more equal and makes corrupt decisions of referees a lot less likely. This is mainly assured by having video footage from different angles that allows to capture more holistically than with the pair of eyes of the referee. Moreover, VAR makes sure that all contacts between the players are monitored and don’t rely on the close presence of the referee. Through this, the work of the referee is greatly rationalised and relies on several objective and scientific assessments of a situation before a controversial decision is made. In its vocation to make football fairer, it can also pacify the relations between competing teams. Overall, it helps to make decisions more transparent and understandable for the teams and fans.

Counter arguments

1) VAR is not necessarily making the game fairer as it is far from being a perfect system. It has a margin error of up to 38,8cm (14 inches) which proves that it is less effective than its proponents claim. It doesn’t allow for fully certain decision making due to the possibility of multiple interpretations. It doesn’t make football fairer or better.

Framing

More oversight of the game will allow for better decisions and more fairness.

Premises

[P1] Several sources are more reliable than only one.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] The quality of a source is more important than the quantity of sources to make a decision.

References


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

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