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VAR and the decision not to send Casemiro off

Update:

Cádiz fans and antimadridistas alike are up in arms for the decision not to send Casemiro off for his nasty challenge on Iván Alejo. It was a tackle from behind, with no possibility of getting the ball and the player was scythed down in a viscious, scissor-like action. Referee Santiago Jaime Latre, who hadn’t been having a best of days, as usual, left it as a yellow card. If he had shown a red card, there would have been no protests from the player or any of his team mates. VAR wasn’t consulted in spite of the fact that one of the four supposed principles of its protocol concern potential red card decisions. That passive response only incensed everyone even more. Anyone can understand that a ref might buckle under pressure to send a Madrid player off at the Bernabéu, but VAR decides from a distance…

It’s hardly surprising. I mentioned here the other day that Luis Medina Cantalejo has proposed that VAR should be consulted less, and only for the most controversial incidents. He has been advising refs officiating games in real time to not give soft penalties and remind them that football is a sport which allows contact. So, during the three weeks that he has been in charge of the Referees Committee, VAR hasn’t been called on; it has only appeared in the last matchday, once at San Mamés on Sunday and twice last night in Orriols. Two fo those three interventions have been for objective, positional calls. Only Diakhaby’s handball was a subjective decision.

None of that will come as any comfort to furious Cádiz fans and antimadridistas. Apart from the Casemiro incident, what we are now experiencing is a radical departure from the criteria on how VAR is used (49 interventions in 15 matchdays under Velasco, three in three under Medina) which leaves us high and dry. Referees usually say that neither players, fans or journalists know the rules. But who does? The powers that be have created a monster and it turns out that VAR, which was designed to bring conformity and eliminate problems, is now seens as a place which fosters impulse decisions and cynicism.

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