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Murky rooms and splendour out on the pitch

My word what a weekend of refereeing we have just had! The willingness (me included, despite my initial doubts) which almost everyone showed in embracing a new era of football with VAR is getting harder and harder to keep up. As José Luis Mendilibar concisely and adroitly pointed out, VAR has left us with a half truth, which as we all know is worse than a lie. It corrects moves when and where it likes, at least that is the conclusion which many of us have come to. After that, come the explanations - if there was contact, this and that about the protocol. Interchangeable explanations applied at whim, like the incessant modifications to the rules.

Mendilibar complained about two incidents which were not reviewed - a penalty committed by Lodi and an elbow by Vrsaljko. Just like Celta complained (and anti-Real Madrid fans in general), that the third penalty was not subjected to a review. “If there is contact, the protocol says there is no need,” we are told. But there have been cases when it has been used to overturn decisions for example, one involving Hazard against Elche and Rafa Mir in Sevilla’s visit to Rayo. So? Sure, it could be worse. Yesterday, a chicken sexer in the ‘Dark Room’ imagined that Mario Suárez handled the ball and managed to convince the ref. Absolutely nothing like anything which is ‘clear and manifest’.

It was a total mess, and that wasn’t the only case - there were others. I’m not going to go into into because I don’t want to allow myself to be dragged myself down by hard feelings when I had just watched the brilliant Barça-Sevilla game, which was resolved in style by Pedri. A great game which elevates our league, shows that football possesses positive natural forces - disproving the idiots who would argue otherwise. And Camp Nou once again filled to the rafters and bouncing, thrilled to see their team in full recovery under Xavi, who took Barça when the team was ninth and now they are second. Splendour out on the pitch, an antidote to the ‘murky rooms’ off it.