VAR under scrutiny: A victim of unrealistic expectations?
The advent of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) promised a new era, one where controversial decisions would be scrutinized and justice would prevail. However, as the technological marvel unfolded on the pitch, so did a myriad of debates and discontent.
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The Illusion of Perfection
When VAR was introduced, it was hailed as the antidote to the infamous Maradona “Hand of God” goal or Frank Lampard’s disallowed World Cup strike in 2014. Yet, the reality we face today is far from a flawless utopia. Football, at its core, is a game of errors—be it from players, managers, or officials.
Mistakes are woven into the very fabric of the sport. From the unpredictable outcomes of matches to managerial blunders and contentious refereeing decisions, football thrives on its imperfections. VAR, as an extension of this human element, was never meant to eradicate mistakes but to minimize egregious errors that could alter the course of a game.
The crux of the issue lies in the unrealistic expectations placed upon VAR. It’s not a panacea; it’s a tool. People yearned for an infallible system, yet fail to recognize that the decisions are ultimately made by fallible human beings. VAR serves to assist, not to replace the human factor inherent in the game.
The Purposeful Imperfection
VAR, in its current form, fulfills its intended purpose—bringing a layer of scrutiny and fairness. Goals that should stand are awarded, and injustices are rectified. The intricacies of offside decisions and the subtleties of handballs are dissected frame by frame. It may not be perfect, but it is