From bar to VAR

Technology knocking on football’s door is as true as nobody daring to leave the door wide open. However, the use of technology is an increasingly undeniable reality in the sports sphere, and the king of sports could not fall behind.

This is about the introduction of  VAR -video assistant referee – which, despite not being the first of the technologies incorporated into this sport, is considered the most revolutionary of them all and there are even those who assure VAR will change the History of football. And, it is true that there were other measures incorporated previously such as the Goal-Line Technology, which permitted determining whether the ball had crossed the line or not due to a study of the ball itinerary across the field. But this technology was not enough to solve the polemic decisions taken by the referees. This is why the introduction of VAR has been considered: the video-assistant referee system is born with the purpose of helping referees determine with certainty what happens in the field.

The greatest advantage of the VAR system is that it comes along with the irrefutable justice that exculpates referees and nullifies any possible polemic, as it happened in the friendly game between Spain and France. Besides, it encourages a more equal football which would no longer benefit the “big teams”. However, justice never comes on its own, and, despite VAR may be putting an end to unnecessary debates, it is not always effective and it can slow down the rhythm of the match due to the halts which, as Gianni Infantino says – FIFA’s president -, are more typical of waterpolo games. So, in spite of the FIFA’s decision to incorporate this technology in the Russian WorldCup 2018, this novelty is object of debate for both enthusiasts and professionals whose opinions are divided between those who aplaude the measure and those who, like Falcao, consider “it will eventually kill football”. For many, football goes beyond what happens in the field. Football is entertainment, but also debate. Football means being experts of what happened and of what could have happened. Football means friends, and football means bar.  Although, from now on, football will also mean VAR.