Is VAR ruining 'The Beautiful Game'?






Football, also known as soccer or as everyone says 'The Beautiful Game' is the most played sport worldwide. With an annual viewership of more than a billion people, the sport is anticipated to be perfect in every possible way. To make this sport more accurate technology used has advanced in recent years. One such technology used in today's game is VAR or 'Video Assistant Referee'. Like the third umpire in cricket, VAR is used to assist referees in certain situations which they can't have a good look at, due to some obstruction. But in recent times the tech has given rise to several controversies.

Football induced the use of VAR for the first time in 2018 FIFA World Cup. It started well in the beginning. But soon, it was being dubbed to give out 'wrong decisions'. Things went from bad to worse in some situations in the following seasons. One of the reasons why VAR is 'ruining' football according to people is due to its pinpoint precision. Goals scored were disallowed, as one of the players involved in the build-up was offside by less than a centimetre. Football never had such an accurate measuring system before, so people were not used to these 'close calls'. The other issue of VAR is its use is not consistent. One such incident happened in the English Premier League. During the first half of a game between Aston Villa and Sheffield United, the ball went across the line, with 'the Blades' at an advantage. But the goal-line technology failed to detect the goal. In such situations, the referee should've used VAR, but the goal was simply not given, leaving Sheffield players in disbelief. To make things worse, Bournemouth got relegated, as Aston Villa secured required points to stay in the top division.

With controversies increasing day by day, VAR made a wrong impression in people's mind. But with progress in technology, there are some things that we, as football fans, should accept. Whether by a meter or by centimetre, an offside is an offside. To rectify other issues, the referees should use VAR only in extreme circumstances. We should embrace technology and the problems coming with it. And as for the question of VAR 'ruining' the game, on a personal note, it is simply not. With progress in technology, we would see fewer errors happening in future. Football as a game cannot be possibly ruined by a thing making it more accurate. For now, we can only see the technology progressing its way to being perfect.

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