What Exactly Is VAR?
The video assisted referee (VAR) system, simply put, is a quick and convenient way for a football referee to get a closer look at any given moment in a match. At least, that’s what the system is at a quick glance. There have been calls for such technology in the world of football for years, even decades, with assumptions being that such modern systems would eliminate bad decission making during important matches.
However, far from eliminating bad call making and easing tension, it seems as if VAR has been a major point of controversy all of its own. The system has had a few good moments, and a few bad moments, stoking fires and making fans angry all over again, even if it is, at least, about something different than the usual.
Let’s take a closer look at VAR, and understand more about how it works.
How Does It Work?
VAR, in fact, is a team of 3 referees who utilise a video replay system to help the main referee make a decission. The team operates independently from all other video systems in the stadium, allowing for quick access to footage that can be viewed, and replayed, as is desired. Of course, multiple angles can be used, ensuring that all parts of the field can be seen at all times, and the best possible decision can be made. At least, this is the desired intention of the system.
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As far as VAR is concerned, it must first be kept in mind that the system is only used when it comes to 4 specific types of incidents; red cards, mistaken identity in giving red cards, penalties, and goals.
Overturning An Original Decission
But under what circumstances will the field referee be overturned, and the VAR system be considered a higher authority?
This is where things get a little foggy. Still, in all circumstances, the field referee is considered the highest authority, so you need to remember this when betting. The video system is only a secondary pair of eyes, and will only suggest to the field referee if it appears as if a clear mistake has been made. Even then, it can only be put forward, with the field referee still having the final say.
It is also possible for the field referee to call for a review of a decision, if there is uncertainty.
Where It Is Being Used
As it stands, VAR is under what is considered a trial phase. It was first tested in the United States in August 2016, and was met with moderate praise during a reserve team match. Following this trial phase, it was then moved to the A-League in Australia.
Since then, Portugal, Italy and Germany adopted the system in the 2017 -2018 season, while the Copa Libertadores have utilised it since the final stages of 2017.
To say that the system has drawn criticism is, of course, an understatement, but professional referees, including Howard Webb, claim to have been extremely impressed.