In a recent press conference, former referee and now chairman of FIFA’s referees committee, Pierluigi Collina said that VAR at the Russia 2018 World Cup was “very close to perfection”. He was referring to the 99.3% accuracy rate the video assistant referee system has had so far in the tournament. If this is indeed the case – and who are we to doubt FIFA’s statisticians? – then why has there been so much controversy around the technology that, on paper, has improved the game? For this answer, you have to go right back to one of the first uses of VAR in a domestic football league. This was after the technology was labeled a shambles when it was trialed in the 2017 Confederations Cup.It was August, 2017, and Sydney FC were playing against Perth Glory. The game was an important one, as the team who won the match would proceed to the A-League grand final. By half-time, however, the game was pretty much over. The score was 3-0 to Sydney FC but two of these goals, before the arrival of VAR, wouldn’t have been given. VAR reversed the decision of two disallowed goals, both originally flagged as offside. The result was a controversial… Read full this story
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