The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will have a huge impact on football for years to come but the jury certainly remains out on the system so far.
Referee Davide Massa used the VAR to send Raphael Varane off in France’s international friendly against England on Tuesday.
But it was later revealed that Massa had used the system incorrectly. The Italian official had a yellow card out but he didn’t actually show it to Varane, despite rules stating that referees must first show a card before consulting the VAR.
The benefits are there for all to see. The hope, of course, is that VAR will help to eliminate mistakes referees mistakes.
But the debate over its effectiveness will continue to rage on, particularly after the controversial moment that happened in Chile’s Confederations Cup match against Cameroon this afternoon.
Eduardo Vargas appeared to have given Chile the lead in the first minute of first-half injury time, coolly slotting the ball away following a neat move.
But Vargas’ goal was chalked off after referee Damir Skomina consulted his VAR.
Now, there wouldn’t have been any complaints had the replays shown that Vargas was offside when he received a pass from Arturo Vidal.
But it looked like an incredibly close call. Some believe that Vargas was in line with the last Cameroon defender and that the goal should have been allowed to stand.
Now, this is where the controversy comes in. Should the VAR be used to correct obvious mistakes, not incidents where a player is only marginally offside?
Nobody really knows. And, as the case with Varane’s sending off versus England proved, perhaps even the referees aren’t completely aware of how the VAR is supposed to work.
Watch: Vargas' disallowed goal vs Cameroon
Check out Vargas’ disallowed goal below.
Here’s how Twitter reacted.
There are now serious doubts over whether the VAR should be used to next year’s World Cup in Russia.
It is thought that Bundesliga chiefs are now considering delaying plans to introduce VAR from next season - although FIFA president Gianni Infantino is confident that it will be a success in Russia.
"We will use video refereeing at the 2018 World Cup, because we've had nothing but positive results so far," Infantino said in April, per Goal.
"In 2017, when everyone in the stadium or at home can see within seconds if the referee made a mistake, we can't have a situation where the only one who can't see it is the referee.”
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