VAR will ruin the game

CityPress - - Sport - Ti­mothy Molobi

Ev­ery­one loves con­tro­versy. We love ar­gu­ing about what wasn’t or could have been. Don’t we?

Hardly a few weeks af­ter its in­tro­duc­tion, I have al­ready seen enough of the video as­sis­tant ref­eree (VAR) sys­tem.

I say keep your tech­nol­ogy away from our beau­ti­ful game.

Hon­estly speak­ing, this sys­tem is ruin­ing the beauty of the game. I am all for tech­nol­ogy in some in­stances, par­tic­u­larly goal-line tech­nol­ogy and in cases of mis­taken iden­tity, but I am not a fan of how this sys­tem works.

With the VAR in place, players will now score and post­pone cel­e­bra­tions in fear that a goal may not count.

Imag­ine wait­ing two min­utes to cel­e­brate, or hav­ing your cel­e­bra­tions cut short? One of the worst as­pects of the VAR is that, in­stead of players cel­e­brat­ing af­ter goals, there will be an el­e­ment of con­fu­sion as they all watch the match of­fi­cials, wait­ing for con­fir­ma­tion.

It is an easy way out of con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sions for match of­fi­cials and allows them to stay in the clear.

Imag­ine foot­ball with­out off­side or hand goals. This in­ven­tion will turn pro­fes­sional soccer into a joke.

I’ll now be stick­ing to my Sun­day league be­cause what makes foot­ball even more in­ter­est­ing are those con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sions that spark de­bates long af­ter matches have ended. Foot­ball lovers al­ways de­bate gamechang­ing de­ci­sions long af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle has been blown. This makes foot­ball an en­joy­able game of opinion.

Grow­ing up, we used to con­test goals by draw­ing lines on the ground, try­ing to drive a point home to ref­er­ees. Mon­days were post-match de­bate days at school, where talk was dom­i­nated by con­ver­sa­tions about those con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sions.

Where would the game of bil­lions be if it were not for Diego Maradona’s “hand of God” goal in 1986, which is still a talk­ing point?

This tech­nol­ogy, which so far is not even con­clu­sive, might have been in use for a long time in sports such as tennis, cricket, rugby and bas­ket­ball, but foot­ball can do with­out it. It only adds con­fu­sion to the game and takes away its spon­tane­ity.

My big­gest gripe is the VAR’s ex­ces­sive in­ter­fer­ence – it re­views too many in­ci­dents. Dis­rupt­ing the flow of the game isn’t in any­one’s in­ter­ests.

Foot­ball has long been an up­tempo, non-stop sport – and any­thing that breaks up the flow of the game re­sults in bit­ter frus­tra­tion for sup­port­ers.

Bring back our foot­ball as we know it and keep your tech­nol­ogy in rugby, tennis and cricket.

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