In recent years, modern technology has had a major impact on the sporting world. Some people have welcomed the changes with open arms, while others feel that it is tarnishing the reputation of certain games. However, whether you like it or not, technology in sports seems like it is here to stay.
The Premier League, which is held in England and Wales, is one of the most popular domestic soccer leagues on the planet, and many people from all over the globe tune in to watch the games unfold on a regular basis. It is known for its tough tackling and high-tempo football, and it attracts some of the best footballers and coaches from around the globe. In the 2019-20 season, VAR (Virtual Assistant Referee) was introduced.
What is VAR?
The Premier League employs a video assistant referee to help the head referee with decisions. Instead of having to rely on the head referee, the assistant referee has access to videos from different angles of every incident that occurs during a live game. The head referee can ask the VAR to review important decisions, and if the VAR is unsure what to do, there are screens on the sidelines so the head referee can also review the incident.
When the Premier League introduced this technology, they didn’t want it to interfere with the flow of the game, which has proved difficult. The VAR can only make decisions when the incident is clear and obvious, or if the head referee has missed out on a serious incident, such as a handball in the box or an altercation between players.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the head referee has a very difficult job. There are 22 men on the pitch at one time, which is impossible for the naked eye to keep an eye on everything that is going on simultaneously, so fans understand why it was brought in.
Why Do People Dislike VAR?
Before the technology was brought into the English game, Sir Alex Ferguson, one of the world’s greatest football managers in club history, expressed his excitement about the changes. He had compared it to Rugby, a sport that embraced technology well before the Premier League took it on board, but unfortunately, it is a very different sport.
Those who play Rugby and those who watch the sport, expect the game to stop and start. So when VAR was asked to check whether a try should be allowed or disallowed, spectators and players had no issue waiting to see the outcome. Premier League football is a lot different, and by stopping the match to wait for a VAR decision can ruin the momentum of the game. Players and fans are not used to waiting around unless a player is on the ground injured. Even when a player is hurt, the referee does everything in his power to make sure the player is either back on his feet or moved to the sideline. Stopping the game to review a decision can take a lot of time, especially if the head referee has to check the decision. It can create a bad atmosphere in the crowd, and it can influence the game.
VAR is known to get Decisions wrong
Most Premier League supporters wouldn’t mind waiting around for VAR if they were to get the decisions right, but it seems like every weekend there are fixtures, VAR gets at least one of these decisions wrong. Although the VAR has access to plenty of different cameras and they can watch the same incident over and over again, they still manage to make some poor choices, which frustrates and baffles the fans that have spent a lot of money on tickets to watch the game.
Those who love to gamble on the Premier League games in an online casino seem to have a love-hate relationship with VAR. If VAR awards a penalty to the team they are betting against, especially if the head referee hasn’t spotted the incident, then punters are out of pocket.
Making mistakes is part of being a referee, but many assumed with the introduction of VAR technology, officials would rarely make mistakes. Many feel there is more controversy nowadays than there was before VAR.
A technology company called Hawk-Eye is involved with supplying instruments to a wide range of different sports for different reasons. In professional tennis tournaments, Hawk-Eye technology is used to see whether the ball is in or out, it is used in the NHL to see whether or not the puck is over the line, and in football, it shows if the ball is completely over the line.
Very few people have issues with this technology, because on many occasions it’s impossible for the head referee or the linesman to see whether or not the entire ball has crossed the line. The head referee has a device attached to their wrist, which lets them know if a goal should be given or not, so he or she doesn’t have to stop the game while it is in play. Although there have been a couple of problems since it was introduced, it seems to be a rare occurrence.
Before goal-line technology came on the scene in the English league, it was very hard for the referee to see whether the ball had gone over the line because there were often players and goal posts in the way. Players would kick or head the ball so fast it was virtually impossible for the referee to judge whether or not he should award a goal.
Technology is still in its infancy in the Premier League, although there are many fans hoping it will be scrapped, most people are just hoping that officials and those developing the technology can improve it. Football fans can expect alterations to the current system in the near future, as referees have publicly said that improvements need to be made. Fans who attend matches are upset about being left in the dark when these important decisions are being made, and many have asked to show the incidents on big screens in the stadiums. However, some of the stadiums, such as Old Trafford and Anfield don’t have a big screen installed.