The video assisted referee (VAR) system,introduced into the Confederations Cup,was meant to help refs to make good decisions.
Take a look at this incident where Chile’s Gonzalo Zara clearly and deliberately elbows Germany’s Timo Werner in the face.
That’s a straight red card.
Yet Serbian ref, Milorad Mazic,after looking at the VAR replay let Zara off with a yellow card.He had this golden opportunity to show that the VAR could be an invaluable tool for referees.And he didn’t.It’s not the VAR that’s at fault,its the referee who chose to make a decision in favour of Chile for no good reason.That was not human error,that was a human making a biased decision.
Some other opinions on the failure of VAR in the tournament ..
Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey tweeted: “What on earth is going on with VAR? It’s a shambles. There is a protocol in place but officials are not adhering to it.”
Luis Garcia, the former Liverpool and Spain winger, tweeted: “Still not getting the VAR!! If you have to take a decision and stop the match, must be something that changes the game!!”
Former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore tweeted: “Should have been a red for Jara. Wonder if the pause gave the ref the thought ‘let’s keep 11 v 11 in a final’. Can’t be anything else!”
Danny Higginbotham, the former Stoke and Southampton defender, tweeted: “VAR will only work with factual decisions, not subjective ones. Blatant red card but when based on a ref’s opinion, VAR pointless.”
Referees using the VAR need a change in mindset.
The VAR was used 35 times in 12 games in the tournament. It worked well twice.
Pepe thought he had given Portugal the lead in their opening game with Mexico, but the referee ruled it out correctly for offside after consulting with VAR.
Chile’s Eduardo Vargas had a goal ruled out – for a marginal, but correct offside decision – against Cameroon. He later scored a goal in the same game – which again went to VAR, but this time it was allowed.
So here’s hoping that FIFA perseveres with VAR and gives the refs some more training in commonsense.