VAR must remain in the A-League Men

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A weekend of A-League Men’s football cannot go by without some VAR controversy. Nonetheless, it’s still crucial in the game of football.

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With frustration over VAR fast reaching boiling point, here are some reasons why the A-League Men must maintain faith in the technology.

Ultimately, it’s up to the referee

I am baffled why the VAR is getting criticised. This weekend, most choices were wise—for example, a red card for the challenge on Garang Koul. The VAR helped clarify that it was red when the ref initially thought it was yellow.

The same holds for the booking of Jonathan Aspropotamitis from Macarthur FC. Few may argue against red, but none of these people got to see all the different angles that VAR highlights. 

Is the VAR usage the main problem, or are the officials negatively impacting the game? The latter is true. Numerous VAR judgments have established their value.

 

For instant, in the contentious encounter between Adelaide United and Western Sydney Wanderers in 2019. Referee Chris Beath spoke live on Fox Sports to explain how the VAR’s advice helped overrule his on-field judgement. After that, he informed Adelaide United of two late penalties he had unintentionally missed.

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Although many would say VAR is horrible, one must remember that it was designed to aid referees. Sometimes refs are unable to see every contact that results in a foul. To fill those gaps, VAR is available.

 

Whether the referees consider context, intent, and sensibility while making judgements should be the critical question. Consider the upgrade yellow card for Jordan Elsey for instance. The referee initially showed a yellow. However, after speaking with VAR, he realised that the challenge was more complex than he had initially thought. As a result, a red card was issued and a penalty was imposed. VAR again demonstrates its relevance.

 

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Learn the rules instead of blaming the VAR 

 

The rules in the game are often changing, and individuals must keep up. This was evident in the Wanderers and Brisbane Roar match, where Brisbane Roar’s disallowed goal baffled many.

 

There is a need for people to learn the rules, particularly when it comes to free-kicks. For example, Jay O’Shea’s deflected free-kick is a perfect sample of why VAR intervention is crucial. Another new regulation that prohibits players from being closer than one metre to the defensive wall resulted in O’Shea’s deflected free-kick being disallowed.

 

Small subtleties like this are especially easy to ignore when the game has many rules. VAR is, therefore, crucial for keeping track of such little details.

While referees make mistakes in the heat of the moment, VAR is there to help rectify such errors. As a result, this technology is not a cause for concern and it’s therefore unnecessary to lose faith in it.

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Edith Yankuba
Edith Yankubahttps://www.afroaussiesandsuccess.com
A curious journalism student seeking knowledge from the world via stories and all things football. Covering the 2022/2023 A-League season for Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners.

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