As reported by the BBC, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has dismissed claims from the likes of Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish that VAR should be scrapped.
VAR has polarised opinion from the start, but never before quite like it has so far this campaign. As the BBC report, England internationals Henderson and Grealish, who captain their respective clubs Liverpool and Aston Villa, have both publicly called for it’s use to cease in football.
While that is probably not a widely held view in the game, there’s few, certainly in England, who are content with the way it’s currently being implemented.
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Infantino, while dismissing the idea that it should be binned, acknowledges that. His comments are actually uncharacteristically fair and measured for a FIFA president. He’s quoted by the BBC saying:
“We have to remember VAR was introduced for the first time two years ago, not 20 years ago. VAR is helping football, it’s certainly not damaging football.”
“We must not make a confusion between VAR and maybe sometimes wrong decisions which are taken because of the wrong way in which VAR is used, maybe in some places because of the lack of experience of those who are using VAR. Let’s not forget this really is a landmark change for a referee who didn’t grow up with VAR.”
“We have to take the pulse of what is happening out there, to take the criticism and analyse them.”
There was always going to be teething problems with such a game-changing alteration to football, but VAR will work much more smoothly in five years or so.
We just need to endure this period of poor officiating before they get it right. But, poor officiating is the whole reason VAR came into the game to begin with – so we can put up with it for now.