It became clear during England’s international friendly against France on Tuesday that Video Assistant Referee is a still a long way from becoming a fully-functional part of the modern game.
Raphael Varane was shown a straight red card in the 47th minute when he fouled Dele Alli inside the penalty area. A red card appeared harsh, and even referee Davide Massa took out a yellow card before consulting the VAR Marco Guida and upgrading Varane’s punishment.
The hope is that VAR will help referees get more decisions correct but Gareth Southgate believes it will be impossible for them to get every call right, even with the technology.
"It looked from where we were a clear penalty and therefore a sending-off, but if people say otherwise I would need to see it again,” Southgate said after Varane’s sending off in England’s 3-2 defeat, per Goal.
"I assume the referee wanted to make sure and if he has got that technology to do that, then it is a sensible decision.
"But clearly even with video not every decision will be 100 per cent — you won't get every single decision right. There will still be an element of one person's judgement within that."
Concerns over VAR
The VAR will be used for FA Cup third round matches next January but there are hesitations to implement the system elsewhere.
Bundesliga chiefs had planned to bring in VARs from next season but are now thought to be considering a delay. The Premier League will wait until the 2018-19 season to introduce it.
However, the FA could considering waiting even longer following the mistake Massa made in the France vs England match.
Massa used VAR incorrectly
The Telegraph is claiming that the Italian official used the VAR incorrectly following Varane’s foul on Alli.
New guidelines by IFAB, the FIFA-affiliated world body that oversees rule changes, state that a referee must first show a card before consulting the VAR.
Massa took the yellow card out of his pocket but didn’t actually show it to Varane, instead seeking advice from Guida.
He then put the yellow card away and brandished the red card.
How ref got it wrong
The VAR is there to check all red cards, penalties, goals and cases of mistaken identity. But it cannot be used as a consultant before the referee makes his decision.
“The referee must always make a decision regardless of the existence of VARs, i.e. the referee is not permitted to give ‘no decision’ and refer the situation to the VAR,” IFAB protocol reads.
A red card appeared harsh
Fans were split over whether the VAR even made the right call. Alli was clipped by Varane but it’s impossible to say for certain that he would have reached the ball before Hugo Lloris.
It’s clear the system still needs perfecting.
Watch: Varane's red card vs England
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