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The Australian farce that could turn into FIFA’s worst nightmare

The same Video Assistant Referee system which ruined Australian domestic football’s Grand Final will be used at the World Cup.

The controversial system – which is used to review dubious decisions in real time – had malfunctioned at the time of the game’s decisive moment in May.

Melbourne Victory’s Kosta Barbarouses scored what proved to be the winning goal in the ninth minute. 

Replays of the goal showed James Donachie was in an offside position in the crucial build up, and it shouldn’t have been allowed to stand – but the system had glitched so the referee and linesman could not be corrected.

Now, there are fears the system could ruin the World Cup – and even FIFA’s director of refereeing, Massimo Busacca, has admitted it won’t be perfect.

 

The same Video Assistant Referee system which ruined Australian domestic football’s Grand Final will be used at the World Cup. Pictured: The build up to the Grand Final goal 

Busacca told a news conference yesterday that FIFA had full confidence in the VAR technology but that it might not provide the degree of clarity some may be craving.

‘If we say now yes to (having VAR in) this World Cup, it’s because we think we are ready,’ he said. ‘But don’t think that it will be perfect. We are looking to have an incredible uniformity and consistency, but don’t think that technology solves the problem 100 percent.

‘In front of a video, we will always have a human person who is making an interpretation. It’s not goal-line technology with a vibration. No, it’s an interpretation. It can be yes, it can be no. We can discuss after the game, always.

‘But I’m sure and convinced that the scandals that we remember from the past we will not see any more.’

FIFA's director of refereeing Massimo Buscca warned VAR at the World Cup won't be perfect

Former referee Pierluigi Collina believes VAR will alleviate the stress placed on officials

How does the VAR system work?

VAR stands for Video Assistant Referee and is a new system designed to reduce the number of officiating errors in football.

It is a team of three people working together to review certain decisions made by the on-pitch referee by watching video replays of an incident.

The team comprises of a video assistant referee – who is always a current or former referee – his assistant and a replay operator, sat in a video operation room usually away from the stadium.

They are in contact with the referee on the pitch via a microphone and an earpiece.

Four types of decision can be reviewed using VAR: Goals and whether there was a violation during the build-up; Penalty decisions; red card decisions (but not second yellow cards); cases of mistaken identity when issuing a card

For a decision made on the pitch to be overturned, it needs to be a ‘clear error’, according to the rules laid out by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

The VAR process for reviewing a decision can be initiated either by the on-field referee requesting a review having made a decision, or a recommendation by the VAR team watching on television.

After a VAR review, the referee has three options: immediately overturn their decision based on VAR advice, review the incident themselves on a TV monitor on the touchline, or stick with their initial decision.

VAR isn’t yet written into the laws of the game, with a vote on that due this Saturday, but it is currently being trialled in a number of competitions around the world.   

 After the Australian Grand Final The FFA said in a statement: ‘FFA has conducted a review into the goal decision by the VAR during last night’s Hyundai A-League 2018 Grand Final.

‘It has found that a technical failure in the VAR system meant that the Video Assistant Referee did not have access to the camera views which would have enabled him to make an offside ruling in the 9th minute goal scored for Melbourne Victory by Kosta Barbarouses.’ 

A-League chief Greg O’Rourke said the broadcast feed to the VAR system crashed 30 seconds before Barbarouses won Victory its record fourth championship. 

A shock admission (statement pictured) from Football Federation Australia on Sunday revealed the controversial Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system had malfunctioned at the time of the game's decisive moment

A shock admission (statement pictured) from Football Federation Australia on Sunday revealed the controversial Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system had malfunctioned at the time of the game’s decisive moment

Melbourne Victory's Kosta Barbarouses (pictured) scored in the game's 9th minute, which proved to be the winning goal despite protests from irate Newcastle Jets supporters and neutrals alike

Melbourne Victory’s Kosta Barbarouses (pictured) scored in the game’s 9th minute, which proved to be the winning goal despite protests from irate Newcastle Jets supporters and neutrals alike

Replays of the goal (pictured) showed James Donachie was in an offside position in the crucial build up, and it shouldn't have been allowed to stand

Replays of the goal (pictured) showed James Donachie was in an offside position in the crucial build up, and it shouldn’t have been allowed to stand

The feed remained down for ‘some minutes after the goal’, but it was too late to change the decision because the game had already restarted, he explained. 

He added: ‘We are extremely disappointed at this failure of the VAR technology and we understand the disappointment and frustration of the Newcastle Jets, their fans and indeed all football fans.’

‘VAR was introduced here and in other parts of the world as a technology based solution to correct the human errors that inevitably are made from time to time when officials are making judgments in split seconds.

‘On this occasion the technology itself failed and the broadcast angles required were unavailable.’

Jets coach Ernie Merrick was furious after the match, questioning the use of VAR, which could have potentially saved his side defeat had it been working. 

Fans also vented their fury after the match, with some labelling the farce as 'disgraceful' and damaging to the sport's image in Australia

Fans also vented their fury after the match, with some labelling the farce as ‘disgraceful’ and damaging to the sport’s image in Australia

'Last night was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the A-League and Newcastle. And the VAR has f***ed' it,' one angry fan wrote

‘Last night was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the A-League and Newcastle. And the VAR has f***ed’ it,’ one angry fan wrote

He said three Melbourne players appeared to be offside and the goal shouldn’t have been allowed.   

‘I don’t want to be a sore loser but if that goal was offside I just wonder what the point of the VAR is,’ Merrick said.  

Fans vented their fury after the FFA’s announcement, with some labelling the farce as ‘disgraceful’ and damaging to the sport’s image in Australia.

‘Last night was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the A-League and Newcastle. And the VAR has f***ed’ it,’ one angry fan wrote.  

Another wrote: ‘Why soccer will always be a second rate game in Australia, when it can have a whole A-League season’s result voided in one instant.’  

Another wrote: 'Why soccer will always be a second rate game in Australia, when it can have a whole A-League season's result voided in one instant'

Another wrote: ‘Why soccer will always be a second rate game in Australia, when it can have a whole A-League season’s result voided in one instant’



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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