How VAR could have altered football history

UEFA Champions League Final: Arsenal v Barcelona

VAR has been operating in the Premier League for four weeks and it’s caused quite a stir so far.

Who said that having VAR would put a stop to all the discussions about bad refereeing decisions?

Well, whoever did say that was very wrong.

There’s probably been more talk about poor refereeing decisions this season than in previous years.

But it’s got us here at GIVEMESPORT thinking; what if VAR had been in operation forever?

How would football history have changed?

Well, we’ve picked out six incidents and discussed what could have happened if the correct refereeing decision had been made:

Diego Maradona booked for blatant handball

In truth, VAR shouldn’t have been needed to disallow this.

Maradona opened the scoring for Argentina in the World Cup quarter-final clash against England in Mexico with a blatant handball when challenging Peter Shilton.

He scored an incredible solo goal a few minutes later with Gary Lineker scoring a late consolation for England.

Argentina went on to win the whole tournament with Maradona being regarded as one of the greatest players of all-time as a result.

What if his handball had been spotted and he’d been booked?

Would Argentina have gone on to win the competition? Would Maradona still be regarded as one of the best in the world?

WM 1986 in Mexiko  Viertelfinale ARG - ENG

Arsenal aren’t ‘Invincible’

We all know Arsenal went the entire 2003/04 Premier League season unbeaten. But they were so nearly beaten by Portsmouth early in the campaign.

Pompey lead through Teddy Sheringham but Arsenal rescued a point after Robert Pires’ dive won them a penalty, which Thierry Henry dispatched.

VAR would have spotted Pires’ dive and Portsmouth could have ended the ‘Invincible’ season before it had really begun.

Arsenal win the 2005/06 Champions League

While Arsenal may not have gone the 2003/04 season unbeaten, Arsenal should have won the 2006 Champions League.

Jens Lehmann had been sent off early in the match but Arsene Wenger’s side led through Sol Campbell.

Barca were struggling until Samuel Eto’o equalised with 15 minutes left. However, replays showed Eto’o was offside when Henrik Larsson played the ball to him.

Earlier this week, Wenger was asked which one game he wishes he had VAR in, to which he replied: "It is the final of the 2006 Champions League, because I think Eto'o's equaliser was offside.

"That would have changed the history of Arsenal football club."


Chelsea reach the 2008/09 Champions League final

“It’s a disgrace. It’s a f**king disgrace.”

That was Didier Drogba’s verdict of referee Tom Henning Øvrebø’s performance in the Champions League semi-final second leg between Chelsea and Barcelona.

Chelsea were denied at least four genuine penalty appeals before Andres Iniesta’s 90th-equaliser winner sent Barca through to the final in Rome.

They beat Manchester United in the final in Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge.

Where would Messi and Pep be if they didn’t win that 2009 final?

Probably still the best player and manager in the world respectively.

Manchester United win the 2009/10 Premier League

Chelsea travelled to Old Trafford one point behind United with six matches left to play. But the Blues came away with all three points following a 2-1 win, mainly thanks to Didier Drogba’s offside goal.

A month later, they claimed the title above United by one point.

Ireland reach the 2010 World Cup

Remember Thierry Henry’s handball in extra-time of France’s World Cup playoff against Ireland?

Henry’s handball enabled him to square it to William Gallas, who broke Irish hearts.

Ireland could well have qualified for the 2010 World Cup if VAR was being used and Henry would have been exposed as a cheat.

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