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VAR debuts in LaLiga...with mixed views


The debut of VAR in our league this year has left us with some doubts as well as a few protesting voices. The most explicit of these was Eibar manager Mendilibar, always sincere and constructive through his career. He was the first to oppose the nonsense of stopping play as soon as someone hit the deck unnecessarily, an unpleasant recent attribute of our football. These antics confuse the, fortunately rare, occasions when there is a serious injury, clear to all and with the need for urgent medical attention, with the deceit from those seeking an advantage. Mendilibar, a footballer from older times, preached against this behaviour. I approved. Now he is complaining about VAR, giving a voice to the many fans who don't see the advantages of it. I, however, do see them.

Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - August 19, 2018 | General view of leaflets on stadium seats explaining VAR.
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Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - August 19, 2018 | General view of leaflets on stadium seats explaining VAR.SERGIO PEREZREUTERS

VAR: to review or not to review

The question here is that people should not expect perfection from VAR, but instead a system used to resolve only truly shocking the critical parts of the pitch. Offsides, shown by a straight line drawn instantly with trigonometrically-precise calculations, is objective. There are no grey areas. But other situations do leave scope for debate. Many Madridistas have complained about Bruno's push on Asensio in the area, which referee Estrada Fernández let pass. In the game between Betis and Levante, Canales went down under a challenge from Luna, and again it was not reviewed. During the Eibar-Huesca match there was a similar situation with Sergi Enrich going down in the box, and this is where the complaints from the aforementioned Mendilibar were riased.

VAR: only for the big occasion

It's advisable to look at VAR with the following criteria: it is designed to correct only the big mistakes, those plays where the referee has made a decision, either from seeing it from a poor angle, being careless or whatever, which is incredibly unfair. Only in those cases, a trustworthy colleague, who has a screen showing repeated views, will advise him that he has potentially made a significant error. It is not designed for those plays that even after watching them ten times there are still disagreements. I didn't trust it at first, but I now like it, among other things because it has reduced the number of players complaining to the officials. And also the number of cards.