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VAR has imprisoned football


Madrid won at the Benito Villamarín, by dint of VAR. The damn monstrosity led to Emerson being sent off when the game was level at 2-2 and then it spotted the penalty that handed the away side victory. Two moments that De Burgos had missed and that Madrid players did not complain about, but in the Video Operation Room (VOR) sat a nitpicker, González González, who recommended that the referee double checked each play. Looked at through a magnifying glass, the first was a red card and the second was a penalty, although in my view less obvious. And, I repeat, this is with a magnifying glass. Put both decisions together and they reinforce the opinion of those who believe Madrid benefit from VAR.

VAR getting in the way

As well as those two incidents, there was another. Betis' own goal saw Emerson put his foot out to prevent Benzema’s effort, the Frenchman popping up behind him and flirting with offside. VAR got involved again, and delayed proceedings until the goal was finally considered valid. Luckily Benzema was not offside because, if so, we would have been deep in discussion over the interpretation of the extent to which he may have influenced Emerson's actions. We now have to live through every twist and turn of this type of interpretation. VAR is not alone, it is just a by-product of the initiative of a group of conspirators who have aimed to reinvent the game and mess everything up just a little.

Early bath...hints VAR | Emerson sees red after ref review
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Early bath...hints VAR | Emerson sees red after ref reviewTONI RODRIGUEZDIARIO AS

Changing the script during games

I'm afraid my preference is that the on-pitch referee makes the call, whether right or wrong, rather than have this unpleasant aftertaste from moments that distort so many games (yesterday's interference lasted eight minutes) and doesn’t provide a stronger decision than the one made in the first place. The game, which was a joy in itself and with good players on form (Benzema and Canales more than anyone), was being interrupted (as was the refereeing from De Burgos, who was made nervous) due to González González's outbursts. He, sat so many kilometres away, played the role of the theatrical prompter who sabotaged the show by changing the script in the middle of it. VAR has made football its prisoner.