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VAR: UEFA planning overhaul of unpopular technology

Michel Platini warned against the introduction of VAR and the increasingly controversial technology and UEFA is looking at improvements.

VAR: UEFA planning overhaul of unpopular technology

Michel Platini, before his fall from grace, warned against the introduction of VAR into football calling the technology “Pandora’s box.” However, the former UEFA president’s words fell on deaf ears and FIFA ploughed ahead with the roll-out of VAR, buoyed by the comparative success of goal-line tech, earpieces for officials and other minor tweaks.

But now with VAR extending into the four corners of the globe, and complaints about its negative effects on the game from players, fans, coaches, clubs and entire football associations, UEFA has decided to take action. The International Board (IB), which governs the rules and regulations of the game, is due to meet in Belfast on 29 February to review the VAR system and iron out the various wrinkles in the current use of the technology.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has even weighed in on the debate. “The placement of the lines that are displayed on the [VAR] screen and that determine the position of the players are subjective. We can’t get into a situation when a player is called offside because he has a larger boot size than a defender or a bigger nose.”

One VAR challenge per half? 

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Handballs are also going to reviewed, after a committee involving Jürgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Max Allegri, Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane were asked to review a handball decision and could not reach an agreement as to whether or not it should have been a penalty.

Another reform being put forward by coaches is an idea similar to challenges in tennis. With VAR out of the hands of players and managers, and used excessively in the view of most fans, the IB is going to consider – albeit as one for the future – the possibility of awarding each team one VAR challenge per half to try and regain some of the flow of the game that has been lost under the current deployment of the system.