Johannesburg - Everyone loves controversy. We love arguing about what wasn’t or could have been. Don’t we?
Hardly a few weeks after its introduction, I have already seen enough of the video assistant referee (VAR) system.
I say keep your technology away from our beautiful game.
Honestly speaking, this system is ruining the beauty of the game. I am all for technology in some instances, particularly goal-line technology and in cases of mistaken identity, but I am not a fan of how this system works.
With the VAR in place, players will now score and postpone celebrations in fear that a goal may not count.
Imagine waiting two minutes to celebrate, or having your celebrations cut short? One of the worst aspects of the VAR is that, instead of players celebrating after goals, there will be an element of confusion as they all watch the match officials, waiting for confirmation.
It is an easy way out of controversial decisions for match officials and allows them to stay in the clear.
Imagine football without offside or hand goals. This invention will turn professional soccer into a joke.
I’ll now be sticking to my Sunday league because what makes football even more interesting are those controversial decisions that spark debates long after matches have ended. Football lovers always debate game-changing decisions long after the final whistle has been blown. This makes football an enjoyable game of opinion.
Flow of the game
Growing up, we used to contest goals by drawing lines on the ground, trying to drive a point home to referees. Mondays were post-match debate days at school, where talk was dominated by conversations about those controversial decisions.
Where would the game of billions be if it were not for Diego Maradona’s “hand of God” goal in 1986, which is still a talking point?
This technology, which so far is not even conclusive, might have been in use for a long time in sports such as tennis, cricket, rugby and basketball, but football can do without it. It only adds confusion to the game and takes away its spontaneity.
My biggest gripe is the VAR’s excessive interference – it reviews too many incidents. Disrupting the flow of the game isn’t in anyone’s interests.
Football has long been an up-tempo, non-stop sport – and anything that breaks up the flow of the game results in bitter frustration for supporters.
Bring back our football as we know it and keep your technology in rugby, tennis and cricket.