VAR has its fans. They stick by it at all costs. What harm if you have to wait three minutes to find out if it you can celebrate a goal if the right decision gets made? The millimetre your player's armpit may have been offside is an important detail to the fascism of accuracy. What if it's not all that accurate though? Well, it's the best system that's available.
For most football fans, and it's a growing number, what VAR has brought to the Premier League in particular this season is not worthy of sticking by or defending. Were penalty decisions as controversial last season? Were offside decisions? That answer is undoubtedly no. Now we just have to wait a lot longer to get a decision we can argue about.
Firmino has had a goal disallowed for offside. He wasn’t offside but VAR decided he was offside. When it comes to VAR I’m now offside.
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) November 2, 2019
And a report in today's Telegraph by Jason Burt suggests things could be about to get a whole lot more farcical with the introduction of manager appeals to the VAR process.
Premier League clubs will meet next week and put forward the idea. It's an idea that works in other sports with video refereeing (cricket, tennis, American football), though it does not exist in a more fast moving sport like rugby. The idea, according to the Telegraph, would be for each manager to have three appeals over the course of the game.
While the Premier League are said to be against the idea, if the clubs are resolute they will ultimately be able to force it through. It would surely lead to cynical time wasting challenges as well as "hope for the best" appeals late in games when desperation would lead to a stop in the game with the manager having nothing to lose. This would naturally lead to even more delays and the sapping of the flow still more.
If the Premier League's resistance to this idea is successful, there is still likely to be changes to the VAR system after the meeting. Some clubs are calling for a suspension of the system, although this is unlikely to be voted upon. They will canvas clubs for their opinion, and head of referees Mike Riley will deliver a presentation. In all likelihood, the use of monitors by referees, as seen in other competitions such as the Champions League will be used in the aftermath of the meeting.
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