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I am an enthusiast for the use of this, always have been, always will be.

If the technology is there, use it.

In a scenario where the gulf between success and failure is so massive the accuracy of decision making is vital and transcends human fallibility, especially in those split second moments and with a game riddled with cheating and the need to edge that slightest of advantages.

It's track record is proven in other sports. When Dominic Reeve firmly answered the traditionalists in the cricketing world, who were against it's use on the grounds of time wasting and delay, by saying that it was 'part of the occasion' he was correctly referring to the use of big screens and the added fun of total spectator involvement, to say nothing of the ability of the crowd to glean an exact insight into the finer points of decision making within the game.

Technology has enhanced the spectator experience in cricket, and you could easily claim the same for Rugby Union and other sports.

Why then is it proving to be such a disaster in football in as much as it's use and benefit in the game is being constantly questioned and criticised?

It seems to be creating more problems than it solves, that's for sure. 

Should there be a margin of error (as in cricket) whereby the original decision stands if the line is so fine whereby the "thickness of a sheet of paper" decision against Lingard's recent goal should have remained with the on-field official.

Should the official in the stand become officials?

 Does VAR need time to settle in or should a serious re-think of basic matters by the powers that be be necessary.

Apparently the spectators will now be privy to the whole process by means of the screen.This should improve things.

At the end of the day the use of technology in a game has two aims. To reduce inaccuracies of decision making and to enhance the spectator experience. Fairness and fun.

In top level football it, thus far, seems to be falling a little short on both counts??

 

Edited by BroadstairsR
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The problem is that linesmen are letting play run while the decisions are made - this makes the decision get made elsewhere, so there is no onfield call to be overruled as with cricket.  Certainly seems to me that there should still be a margin favouring the attacker, some will say you’re off or you’re not but the thickness of a piece of paper isn’t ‘enough’.

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I'm sceptical, the idea that it's supposed to be foolproof worries me. There's obviously a Big Club bias in football, the media know it, the smaller Clubs know it but don't have the power to challenge it more importantly, the paying public know it, which is why so many 'support' a Big Club  in front of their TV.

Ultimately, it's killing football and unless VAR solves those problems we're one step closer to the end of our game. I'll wait until the first contentious decision which affects us before we're all giving up on VAR looking for the next solution which will, hopefully be incorruptible.

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The problem with Lingard's goal is;

Is it offside when the foot touches the ball, or when the ball leaves the foot?

That might sound like a micro second,

But then that's all it take for a big toe to move into a offside position.

That level of detail, not even VAR can give us.

 

The other thing that has been really frustrating about VAR, is that its use was meant for 'Clear and Obvious Errors' this has not been the case so far.

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VAR will never be perfect and is not a remedy for big-club bias among officials and media, be that subconscious or otherwise. But in my book anything that reduces the opportunity for blatant injustices when Norwich (or any other ‘little’ club) goes up against the moneybags clubs has to be welcomed. Injustices will still happen, but less often.

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I like it in general but think they need to refine its use (and make sure its used consistently universally - this nonsense in the UK of ditching the screen by the pitch so the ref does not revisit his own decision is wrong if you ask me) and also I think that they are going to need to reform the offside rule if VAR is going to be used for offsides as it is as otherwise a lot of goals are going tp be ruled out due to matter of centremetres which I don't think should be the case (such as Lingaards for example). We will perhaps need to move to a "clear daylight" rule or something like the full width of the attacking players head.

 

An interesting side note on the offsides is of course that VAR is, I thought, only supposed to intervene for clear and obvious errors and yet for offsides it seems to be being used like goal line technology as a matter and as a matter of fact. I'm not convinced that based on the angles/info available you can say that Lingaard was definitely offside at the moment the ball was played to the extent that it was a clear and obvious error by the linesman not to give offside. 

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One problem with VAR Is that people's expectations are too high. A lot of fans seem to think that it is a perfect system that will mean every decision is going to be correct now, when that isn't possible. There will always contentious 50-50 decisions for fouls, handballs etc. that are open to interpretation and some referees will give it when others won't.

I think it will improve over time. It's been in Serie A for two seasons now and it was used better in the second, although there were still issues and talking points from time to time. I imagine it will be the same here: teething problems at the start with improvements being made over time. And the advantage we've had in England is that we've let plenty of other leagues and competitions be the guinea pigs so our initial problems won't be as major as the others.

The one thing that it will guarantee though is that it cuts out the shockers. The 50-50 decisions will always create discussion after the match, and they may well continue to go in favour of the big teams, but the decisions that are clearly wrong should be eradicated completely, which probably makes VAR worth it.

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As Wacky says, it's early days-I remember that it took time to be accepted in cricket and the technology available then was obviously a lot more basic than now.

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Would VAR have over ruled that pillock Simon Hooper with Jerome’s overhead goal ? Still bugs me after all this time, could have changed our whole season

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My problem with it is that if you cannot correct or confirm every decision, then why any at all? Is one more important than the other?

We all want to see goals, not against our favourites hopefully. But I do not want to see the game become so important on goals being scored that it leads to stoppage after stoppage. And I am positive there will be calls for even more decisions to be made by someone off the pitch than ever. Was it really their throw in which led to the goal a minute ago?

The goal line technology is good. It is instant. But the farce with the Swiss penalty against Portugal, while probably correct admittedly, is taking something away from the game I prefer to watch.

And again I have used the word probably, not definitely.

Whilst it is good to help the officials in a faster than ever game, it is now making winning even more important. And I do see even more controversy in the EPL next season. We have been used to seeing attackers diving in the box. Will we now see defenders doing the same particularly after Wilson's goal was ruled out?

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I think I've asked this before - what decisions will / won't be up for review by VAR?

Contentious penalty decisions - yes.  Contentious free kick opportunity - no? (unless it is to decide whether a penalty should be given).  Will the new rules around the goalkeeper's positioning when a penalty is taken be subject to VAR?

Offside decision when a 'goal' is scored - yes.  

Are all goals subject to VAR? e.g. a foul in the build up, ball going out of play?

Anything else?  Yellow/Red card offences?  Diving?

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I'm sure VAR will come to be a good thing as the technology (and its application) improves. I think a lot of the criticism stems from the generally low level of punditry and commentary in football, especially when compared to cricket. It seems to me that we are bombarded with the opinions of ex players who often struggle to understand the modern game at the best of times - a bit like trying to talk to your grandad about the internet.

It wouldn't be much of a technological stretch to be able to give the linesman an immediate binary indication of whether a player is offside or not which could trigger as soon as they touch the ball following a forward pass. Just a few more cameras and some carefully programmed algorithms and you would be able to track every part of every player on the pitch in real time. That is the ideal scenario. Until then, surely it is better to correct mistakes where possible, even at the expense of losing a bit of the flow of a game?

Lingard was offside. It was frustrating because it was tight, but it was the correct decision. The Swis penalty was also correct. It is changing the game, but in a good way in my opinion.

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10 minutes ago, Petriix said:

Lingard was offside. It was frustrating because it was tight, but it was the correct decision

Yes he was, and we'd have been screaming for it if it had been at the other end.

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The worrying thing for me is how it became the major talking point of three of the four games.

I think the right calls were made in the end (which is the most important thing) - but I think it will take some time to feel 'natural'.

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I think a lot of the criticism stems from the generally low level of punditry and commentary in football, especially when compared to cricket

In Cricket especially, but all the other sports that use it, there is immediate acceptance. Referees still get hounded even after the VAR decision in football. Who will be the first player booked or dismissed for arguing about VAR.

The inability to sort out handling offences is leading to a position where if it touches you arm or hand, it is an offence. That isn't justified IMO.

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As I  wrote in the "Anyone watching England" thread '

Kane header given as a foul, yet Stirling same foul, nothing given VAR need reviewing '

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2 hours ago, keelansgrandad said:

My problem with it is that if you cannot correct or confirm every decision, then why any at all? Is one more important than the other?

 

2 hours ago, Woodman said:

I think I've asked this before - what decisions will / won't be up for review by VAR?

Contentious penalty decisions - yes.  Contentious free kick opportunity - no? (unless it is to decide whether a penalty should be given).  Will the new rules around the goalkeeper's positioning when a penalty is taken be subject to VAR?

Offside decision when a 'goal' is scored - yes.  

Are all goals subject to VAR? e.g. a foul in the build up, ball going out of play?

Anything else?  Yellow/Red card offences?  Diving?

VAR is pretty clear about what it can and can't be used for. It can be used for four things, the last of which is hardly ever used: goals, penalties, straight red cards, mistaken identity.

So it isn't available for free kicks or fouls outside the box, it isn't available for yellow cards (even if it's a second yellow that leads to a red) and it isn't available for offsides unless they lead to a goal or penalty.

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42 minutes ago, Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man said:

and it isn't available for offsides unless they lead to a goal or penalty.

I wonder if linesmen will decide not to flag for offside on the basis that their decision will be confirmed/denied if/when a goal is scored?

And for penalties, it'll be interesting to see how refs approach it - i.e. will they give the pen, then review it rather than not give it & rely on the VAR team to suggest that it gets reviewed as per the Portugal/Switzerland game.

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37 minutes ago, Woodman said:

I wonder if linesmen will decide not to flag for offside on the basis that their decision will be confirmed/denied if/when a goal is scored?

And for penalties, it'll be interesting to see how refs approach it - i.e. will they give the pen, then review it rather than not give it & rely on the VAR team to suggest that it gets reviewed as per the Portugal/Switzerland game.

The directive for the assistants- as we've already seen in many matches using VAR- is that if they're in doubt, don't flag. If a goal goes in, it can brought back, but if play has stopped, they can't restart. A good example was Son in the Champions League final: the assistant didn't flag as he was in on goal, but five seconds later the attack fizzled out as Son was forced wide, so the assistant flagged and play was brought back. He didn't want to risk making the wrong decision while there was still a goalscoring opportunity.

Penalties will probably operate in a similar way. If in doubt, don't give it. Play can always be brought back but it's more difficult to give a decisions overturn it, then restart.

Edited by Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man

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I do like VAR but I think football should use it like tennis and hawk eye, maybe they should limit it to 2 appeals per team each game if not it will ruin the flow of the game in my opinion.

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VAR is terrible for football. Great for the TV and their viewers  but it just seems to be draining the life out of football as I love it.

Ask yourself which moments of last season did you enjoy most,was it's the equaliser v forest, the equaliser then winner v Millwall, Vrancic v sheff wed? Imagine them with VAR, would you still celebrate to wildly knowing VAR could find a reason to disallow it?

Yes I want wins, i want promotions, I want to trophies but they are just the rewards of success, I go to football to experience that moment of ecstasy that only football gives u, which you can't compare to any other sport, any other thing. If VAR takes away that "moment" I'm not sure it's worth it.

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I think Ward might have the right answer by giving teams a number of appeals rather than every decision being looked over. I’m enjoying watching the cricket World Cup at the moment and each side is given one appeal. Imagine the difference if every potentially dubious call was looked at. 😴 In tennis the players have to use a given number of appeals each set. In the NFL coaches get two appeals per game plus one extra if they are both successful. There may well be other examples but none of these review every decision that could affect the result.

I’ve  not had the chance to see VAR in action in its current form but as well as frequency of reviews, reduced by the above, the time taken seems to be a problem as well. Isn’t it supposed to be for obvious errors, therefore a decision should be able to be reached in a fairly short designated time, otherwise it’s not obvious and the decision stands  

The only time I’ve seen VAR in action was the cup game against Chelsea, however many years ago, and it seemed to work quite well for us proving their players to be a bunch of divers. 

I suspect VAR is here to stay but, from comments, it needs a fairly major rethink on just how it’s going to be used. 

 

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8 hours ago, Woodman said:

Yes he was, and we'd have been screaming for it if it had been at the other end.

He was offside by the rules but I don’t think that should be offside. The rules should be changed. In addition I’m not sure you can absolutely say he definitely was offside as the margin was so fine and we don’t know how much margin for error there is with the camera angles/frames available. 

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The fact that the game has to be stopped is a worry to me, it's different from Cricket in that there's a natural delay between each ball being bowled. I can see advertisers looking at this as an opportunity to slip in an advert while the decision is made just like in the States. 

Meanwhile, those who've paid to get in the ground to watch the game will just have to wait for the decision, spoiling their enjoyment as the advertisers and broadcasters make their money. 

It's only a matter of time before they make the game four quarters to fit in adverts.😱

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Two definite blatant penalties reviewed by VAR in current USA V THAILAND game not given.  Bizarre.  This is when question mark's over it have to be raised.  Doesn't matter in this match but if similar say at Old Trafford then certainly would expect plenty of questions asked.   

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2 hours ago, Felixfan said:

We will now be the first Premier fixture to feature V.A.R.. One for the pub quiz fans.

Would not be surprised if we are the first Premier team to be given an advantage / positive decision because of it.

I'd rather go to Anfield with it than without it.

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