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Has VAR ruined football?

The video assisstant referee has been a mainstay of English football since it was trialled in the 2018 FA cup. Since then, it has caused many a football fan to be frustrated and annoyed, forced to wait agonisingly long times before knowing their team have scored or not.

VAR was originally brought into football to prevent clear and obvious errors from passing through. Ironically, VAR seems to be making the awful decisions themselves other than the on-field referees it seems. Every week, the story is on how VAR has messed up this decision and that decision.

Each match turns into pandemonium becauae VAR is now used for most calls instead of simply clear and obvious errors that the official had not seen. The problem VAR has been having in recent weeks and months which has angered fans, players and managers alike is the amount of time in which it would take for these off field decisions to be made. In a game between Burnley and Bournemouth on the 28th October, VAR was looking at the goal from Jay Rodriguez and whether it was offside or not. It took them 6 and a half minutes before coming to the conclusion that they agree with the ref, which means that the referee has not made a clear and obvious error which was the original intentions of VAR. Instead, it wasted six minutes at the end of the game when Bournemouth were hanging onto a 2-1 lead.

During the broadcast of Match of the Day that evening, they had seen that the officials controlling VAR had not drawn the lines marked for offside correctly which delayed the process even more. This came with frustrations from fans and a furious Vincent Knopany post match as he felt as if their handball claim should have been reviewed moments later but VAR never looked at that decision.

VAR has ruined those special moments for football fans, the catharticism of a last minute winner to win a trophy feels like a time in the past as now fans have to wait sometimes for upwards to 10 minutes to know if their team has scored. Players can become restless too as they are eager to play. It all has become more of a stop-start game than the free flowing games that neutrals and spectators alike would absolutely adore.

Here is hoping that VAR is used more efficiently in the coming years or the $6.5 million per season is not going to look so worth it now.

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