Will VAR be used in the European Championships?
With the European Championship beginning on Friday, it will be the first to truly use VAR on a mega scale. That is, the video assistant referee technology will feature in all of the games. For many, this is an issue as VAR is highly controversial at the best of times. Since its inception, VAR has made some odd decisions and angered many football fans.
Having said this, technically this won’t be the first outing of VAR in a major international competition. In fact, VAR first featured in the 2018 Russia World Cup. Here, the referee’s where fitted with special Hublot smartwatches that would say if the ball had fully crossed the line or not. However, this use of VAR was still very new and primitive from the VAR that we see today. That is, calls like red cards, off-sides and penalties where not included in Russia.
So, what does this mean going forward? Firstly, one thing is for sure. As fans, we cannot fully celebrate goals in the same light ever again. This may sound dramatic but anyone who has watches games that use VAR will understand. Gone are the days of a quick celebration, now they are replaced with fans waiting to see if a goal is potentially returned.
It also has potential benefits though as VAR has led to a massive rise in penalties given. This is because marginal handballs and fouls are often reviewed and now given as penalties. As a result, fans are almost guaranteed more goals. The issue is that if you support a smaller country, then good luck as the VAR calls may systematically be awarded to the bigger countries, which is often the case in club football.
There is the prospect of another can of worms entirely. What may be a VAR penalty in one league may not be in another. When you have a tournament that features referee’s from around the globe, this could cause more confusion in terms of making big decision.
To review, VAR will be featured in this years upcoming European Championships. Hopefully it won’t interfere too much though and will still be a highly enjoyable spectacle for all.
Source: 1000 Goals.