In theory VAR should ensure that every offside decision is correct because the technology is there to cover every angle, but it’s not completely infallible.
Liverpool will be furious about Jordan Henderson’s late winner being disallowed for offside today, and it looks extraordinarily harsh when you look at the pictures:
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) October 17, 2020
The real issue here is that the officials still need to analyse the image where the ball is actually played forward, but there is an element of error in there that needs to be taken into account.
We face a situation where the officials on the pitch are being completely taken out of the game by the technology, but we need to have some element of trust where things are too close to call.
The closest example would be in Cricket where Hawkeye will stick with the umpire’s decision when it comes within the margin of error, and we probably need something like that in football.
Caught Offside spoke to former Premier League ref Keith Hackett about the incident, and he raises a very interesting point about the cameras:
“It’s not offside for me. The hand/arm up to the underside of the armpit is not a part of the body that can score. My view is that this goal should not have been ruled out.”
“The cameras have speeds of up to 50 frames per second, so they do not have the level of accuracy to make this judgement.”
“It’s a poor decision”
You can absolutely guarantee that similar incidents will happen in football this season and the margins are so small that it’s impossible for the technology to make the call.
The NFL have a system where the call on the field will stand if there’s not sufficient video evidence to 100% prove that the wrong call has been made, so we need to have something similar in football.
We’re starting to see a total over reliance on the video replays and it’s not healthy, especially when it’s starting to undermine the officials on the pitch.
VAR was always designed to aid the officials to overturn any clear and obvious errors that happen on the field, and even the biggest of Everton fans will admit that this doesn’t fall into that category.