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Football News: VAR Decisions Need Fixing

VAR Decisions Need Fixing

Bit of a lengthy article lads so bear with me - just wanted to collate a few views on the officiating this season and what needs doing / has been done about it.



The big issue this season has been VAR hasn't it? The issue seems not so much with the actual technology itself, but rather how it's being used and by whom and then the sheer length of time it takes a decision to be reached.



The 'Clear and Obvious' rule is just ridiculous - I mean, the very calls that fans protest about so much are just blatantly clear and obvious to everyone watching the replays at home, apart from the VAR officials.

VAR gets involved with some decisions, then declines to get involved in others citing this rule. Whilst this would be ok if the call was one of the 50/50 type calls we have seen then I would understand, but some of the decisions VAR fail to get involved in is just unbelievable - again, not 50/50 type decisions, but just blatant errors, blatant penalties, red cards etc. and VAR fails to intervene?

It is precisely these instances that leave fans scratching their heads and asking 'what is the actual point of VAR?'



It seems to be the same officials that continuously make these 'errors' - Every fan accepts that the on-field referee will miss things. Players get in the way, the speed of the game etc, all reasons for things to be missed and that's fine as fans accept that.

The issue is when the VAR official takes 5 minutes looking at the same replay that thousands of us see at home, yet somehow still misses the blatant handball, karate kick to the ribs, shirt pull, dive etc. - he misses this when everybody else sees it's an issue and this is one the PGMOL simply fail to tackle.

They take the VAR official off games for a week and that is it - I mean, maybe invite him to a meeting, show him the clip and ask him how he saw it as he did while it's so blatantly obvious to everyone else?

Again, same 5 or 6 officials every time - the figures the PGMOL produce showing errors only includes those that they have admitted to, not the countless others that VAR failed to get involved in or they claimed were 'correct' decisions.



This is the bit that really gets me. If they have a mantra that VAR will only get involved with the 'Clear and Obvious' occurrences, how does it take 5 mins plus to reach a decision then? That length of time would indicate that nothing about it is either clear or obvious, wouldn't it?



1. 'Clear and Obvious' is unfit as a rule

2. Time taken to reach a decision is just awful for the game

3. Lies told each week about how the 'correct' decision was reached.

4. VAR officials

5. Actual refs and match officials under more and more pressure because of VAR



1. Amend the Clear and Obvious rule. It is ridiculous in its current guise and use.

At its core, it's a good rule. VAR should not be there to pause and stop the game just because there was a slight nudge etc. missed, but rather to help the on-field ref with serious things that were missed - the handballs, penalties, blatant fouls etc. But it's not doing that currently.

2. Time taken is wild. The very circumstances that VAR exists to help with are just so blatantly obvious it should not take 5 mins should it?

A foul, handball, penalty etc - watch it a few times and you will see - should be 30-60 seconds maximum!

The offsides are awful - 4-5 mins to draw precise lines to see if for example, a player's big toe is off? No.

The solution to offsides could well become automatic, but if not, one still image of when the ball is played and in line. If he's off, he's off, it should be obvious. If you need minute lines to tell, then it's too tight, and the advantage goes to the attacker - just let play continue as normal and the VAR check should take seconds, it's not difficult.

3. The lies - fans hate these, they see a dangerous kick to the head and not even a free kick given and wonder 'how in the hell.' - Then we get Dermot Gallagher, Mike Dean or Howard Webb on TV telling us 'according to the rules' how the VAR officials 'reached the correct decision in this case'.

Then, the following week the exact same thing happens in another match, a red card is given this time and the same guys go on TV and explain how 'according to the rules' the VAR official 'reached the correct decision in this case'. With absolutely no mention given to the fact they have completely contradicted themselves from what they said the previous week for an identical decision.

4 and 5: The Officials and the PGMOL.

I put these together because I think this is the major issue, not VAR itself, but how it's used. It's the people using VAR that are clearly the issue. Every single week, the major talking points are VAR and what it has either gotten wrong or how it has failed to intervene.

This is causing so much stress for the actual match officials as the scrutiny and pressure is felt on the field, not in the VAR booth. The PGMOL have not helped and effectively hung their match officials out by failing to act.

They simply refuse to do anything. Given the sheer amount of errors committed in the VAR room, one can only consider the following options as reasons why:

1 - They have never seen the game of football before and simply don't understand the rules that need to be applied?

2 - They do not understand the purpose of VAR and when they should notify the on-field ref and of what issues they should communicate to the on-field ref?

3 - They are simply incompetent?

4 - They are accepting bribes?

5 - There are about 5 of them involved in some sort of betting syndicate?

Now this is the tricky part, ascertaining how something that should be so beneficial to the game is an absolute mess in its current form.

I am honestly not sure how the PGMOL view this, or want us to view this, as i said all of the decisions fans are irate about are just so blatantly obvious to everybody, but the guy in the VAR room. I just do not know what we are expected to believe from the possible reasons above?

Possible solutions?

We heard from Mike Dean how he did not wish to 'annoy his mate' any further in that Chelsea game because he'd 'had a hard game' - so ignored a blatant hair pull etc. This would indicate that the same refs should not be involved in the VAR.

We have a situation now whereby nobody knows who is in charge - the ref or VAR? My solution - do we not have refs in training or from other leagues looking to join the Premier League Officials? If so, can we not use them in the VAR room?

They know the rules of the game, are not so inclined to 'give their mate an easy time' and this could solve the big issue for me - All decisions rest with the on-field ref. The VAR refers the ref to an incident they feel he may have missed, but the call rests with the on-field ref alone.

Also, why on earth have the PGMOL not done anything? In what other job in the world could you make monumental mistakes like we have seen this season and have nothing done to you?

If we just look at the data, some teams are effected much harder than others, which would be a concern - why?

Overall, nearly every team has been affected this season, which would indicate a problem overall with how the system is to be used, something that the PGMOL needs to fix and somehow have declined to do so. Then we have the outlier - City are simply not effected by these poor VAR calls - strange that and surely an oddity that one would investigate?

In summation lads, VAR is an issue in its current guise but more 'how' it is being used, the actual idea of VAR is a good one and, if used correctly, would be a great asset to the on-field officials.

Several problems with how it is being used have been discussed, but a major issue is the failure of the PGMOL to act.

1 - There is an issue.

2 - It's quite clear what the issues are.

3 - Why has no action been taken against those VAR officials who have made such monumental 'errors'?

4 - Why rewrite the interpretation of the rules every week? In what interpretation can a kick in the ribs or head be described as acceptable?

I would like such issues resolved for the start of the next season as the game in its current state is simply becoming a chore to watch.

Written by Bill May 30 2024 14:49:09


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