It’s too late to scrap VAR in the Premier League, we’ve equally become accustomed to it and rely on it to correctly determine borderline decisions. However, the decisions made from Stockley Park seem to cause more debates than the pre-VAR era – why?
It all comes down to the mainstay that is subjectivity. Irregardless of technology, human beings will always have differing opinions on decisions within football. The on pitch referee is now looking at the monitor, which is a plus – that has given more control back to the designated referee, yet it still does not solve the potential “human error” issue signposted towards an official’s subjective viewpoint.
So how do we fix it? Firstly, it’s worth noting that referees are ranked by a points system. They’re awarded or deducted points based on the decisions they get right or wrong. That alone could almost lead to a hyperbole theory about why some VAR decisions are simply baffling. Some so blatantly incorrect, it flabbergasts even the most part time football fan. I’m not saying there’s corruption, leaning more towards subconscious bias.
So, let’s scrap that concept, as all PL refs would rather not make their colleagues look bad through overruling them. They’d rather not point out mistakes made during each elite game – naturally you want to look after and support your friends/colleagues. If for example, considering how easily one could make their colleague, friend, on pitch referee or whatever – look bad through advising them that they’ve got a decision wrong, if possible, they won’t. Furthermore though, It plays into the ideology that if they overrule their fellow ref while sat in Stockley Park, that particular official may return the favour in referring a controversial decision later on when the roles are reversed – purely out of spite.
My point so far is that those observing the VAR cameras coupled with the actual on pitch officials, causes a vested interest for both parties. The utopian solution almost seems too obvious…
Get ex premier league referees stationed at Stockley Park. They understand the game. They have no vested interest in each decision as long as it’s correct. They undoubtedly will learn all these new strange rules upon taking their VAR consultant positions.
If you have doubts about my above concept not working properly, look up Mark Halsey talking about the exact same subject – it’s the change we don’t just want, but need.
If you want to make each live reviews decision even more fair, stick three qualified people in the VAR room, for each game – get them to vote on it.
That would work best but budgets may restrict it from being practice, I’ll leave you with an example of how well that would work…
Let’s say Aubameyang goes down in the box from a Ruben Dias trailing leg, yet it isn’t clear if Dias got the ball before taking Auba out. Mike Dean says to those at Stockley Park that he isn’t sure on the decision. Those 3 qualified individuals watch it back several times and then vote on the outcome. Whether it’s two to one or three to none in favour of the penalty, or no penalty – that process quickly creates a fairness and a more triable outcome to the decision.
If we could also hear the conversation between the on pitch official and those in Stockley Park, that would solve things even further – as we’d actually understand as fans.
Nevertheless. VAR is here to stay. My aforementioned points state the quite obvious remedies in how to fix these current issues, let’s wait and see.