The VAR process isn’t the most popular of things to have been introduced into the world of football as of late, and that is a dramatic understatement in itself. There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the whole function of it, whether or not it actually works, and whether it’s worth the amount of time it takes to be utilised in a game.
These are all queries you can try and figure out for yourself, but at the end of the day, fans need to come to terms with the fact that it’s here to stay. How do we know that? Because BBC is reporting that some VAR decisions in the English Premier League next season will actually be shown on the big screens. This ensures that fans get to see the exact same thing that the referee does, which could be seen as either a good or a bad thing depending on your perspective.
The bigger picture
Given that The Telegraph is reporting about Manchester City’s potential ban in the UEFA Champions League, we’d argue that English football has more important things to worry about than whether or not the game is stopped for a few minutes.
We understand some of the more ‘sane’ trepidations that people have about all of this, we really do. However, when one of your biggest reasons for not liking VAR is that it’ll give you one less thing to talk about when you’re down the pub, your argument really does start to fall apart. VAR is a necessity in this sport as it is in any other, and in the long run, it really is going to improve things in a big way.
Showing the fans what is happening will probably add an extra degree of drama to the proceedings, too, because we can only imagine what is going to happen if the referee still gets a decision wrong even after consulting with the VAR system.
Looking at both sides
It seems a little bit manufactured and that’s probably because it is, but we need to put all of that to one side for now. The steady progression of the English game, and football as a whole, ensures that we need this kind of thing to come into effect. There are always going to be growing pains when you’re putting together a brand new system that changes the way in which we watch the sport, and that’s okay.
Different teams are going to be impacted by this in different ways, and if there’s one thing that we’re hoping for, it is that we don’t want referees to start getting too lazy. If they think they can just sit back and rely on VAR to do most of the work for them, then the standard of refereeing could drop even further than it already has.
Perhaps we’re just being a little bit too overdramatic in suggesting that’s the case, but either way, we’re intrigued to see how the public perception of VAR changes and diverts in the next few years.