The credibility of the video assistant referee (VAR) technology is increasingly being questioned day by day after a series of errors witnessed in some major European competitions and leagues. Some players even believe that it has killed the fun of football.
The VAR technique is also not popular among many prominent coaches in the competition, with increasing complaints about the time needed to make decisions, and questioning the accuracy of some offside decisions.
The most recent episodes of dissatisfaction with this technology occurred in the English Premier League with the most prominent incident this week, as Arsenal coach Michael Arteta described the video assistant referee’s decision to award Newcastle’s goal in their 1-0 win as a “disgrace.”
Anthony Gordon scored the only goal and it was counted after the “VAR” examined the referee’s decision at 3 separate stations, one of which was to determine whether the ball had gone out of play, the other to determine whether there was a foul and the third to determine whether there was offside, but the three decisions were in favor of Newcastle. The goal was awarded, giving the three points to Maccabees.
🗣️ The talk did not stop about Newcastle’s controversial goal!!
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) November 5, 2023
The result ended Arsenal’s unbeaten start in the Premier League, but left the Gunners coach angry.
“I have to be here now to say this is unacceptable,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “We did not deserve to lose the match. We lost the match because of clear and frank decisions. It is embarrassing and shameful.”
The Spaniard continued, “What happened is embarrassing. What does this goal look like in the English Premier League? This league we say is the best in the world. I spent 20 years in this country and now I feel ashamed.”
In a similar incident, but in La Liga, when Celta Vigo won a penalty kick yesterday in the 97th minute, but the video assistant referee canceled it, which ended the match in a draw with Sevilla and the team remained in 18th place in the Spanish League.
📌 The CONTROVERSIAL PENALTY in the #CeltaSevillaFC 📌
This was the play that caused the anger of the #Celta
— Soccer Objective of Mr Destrangis 🎙 (@FutbolDestrangi) November 4, 2023
Celta Vigo coach Rafa Benitez did not digest the decision and commented, “We could have gotten 8, 9 or 10 additional points. We are talking about incidents because someone in the office (the mouse room) did not evaluate the intensity of the attraction (referring to the Seville defender attracting the player). Figo)”.
It’s the best pic.twitter.com/CoOPvZLAf1
— sergio.fv (@sergiorccv1923) November 4, 2023
He added, “I cannot understand that. A physicist must be included in the mouse to measure what is strong and what is not strong. A physicist must decide this matter.”
Last March, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti complained publicly more than once in the minutes following El Clásico about his team’s loss at the Camp Nou to Barcelona (2-1) after Marco Asensio’s goal was disallowed due to offside.
The Italian coach said – in the press conference after the match – “We are sad, hurt, but we are proud of the match we played. The match was complete from the first minute to the last minute. We did not win it due to offside. We still have doubts about it and we will return to Madrid with these doubts.”
The VAR referee intervened to inform the arena referee that the goal – which put the Merengues ahead against the Blaugrana in the 80th minute of the match – was offside and should be cancelled.
Since the start of last season, the Premier League referees have admitted fouls on 14 occasions.
The surprising thing is that these mistakes go unnoticed. Arsenal, for example, was exposed to clear injustice twice during last season, which cost it greatly in the struggle to compete for the English Premier League title.
While advocates of video technology claim that the percentage of correct decisions has increased significantly, others believe that nothing has changed, unfairness has increased, and wrong decisions still exist.
The goal of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology, which was applied for the first time in the World Cup in Russia in 2018, was to reduce refereeing errors and eliminate them completely, but that goal seems far-fetched, as more than 5 years after its application, refereeing errors still occur. This technology has become a source of controversy.
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