In relation to the Patrick Bamford, VAR disallowed goal yesterday, it is a fact that within the letter of the law, the decision to disallow the goal was a correct decision. So, to criticize VAR imo, is totally missing the point. It is the law that is flawed, not VAR.

Am I alone in having this view ?



  • I sort of agree.

    The biggest problem I have with VAR though, is that it portrays itself to be something it's not i.e. consistent.

    It isn't.

    Goal line tech is (ok, apart from that game in the summer when they forgot to switch it on 🤦). No problem with that. It's enhanced the game.

    VAR is just a car crash. And it's not just down to the rules. One week a bad tackle will be reviewed; the next it won't. One week the ref will go to the screen; the next week he won't, even if it's an almost identical scenario.

    The offside 'dots' are a joke, they just seem to make it up as they go along, and there is no standardised camera angle so it's all just guesswork. They even admit that the point where they freeze the frame when the ball is kicked isn't 100% accurate. There are minor variations that make it impossible to be consistent every time.

    All it's done is add an extra, needless layer of human error that nobody wants.

    It's the worst thing I can ever remember being introduced in football, it's ruining the game imo.

  • Totally agree deekay, and while modern technology has improved the game somewhat, the thought process and implementation of VAR has just caused confusion after confusion. Having said that the overall game continues to descend into disarray where simple facets of the law like preventing a free kick to be take quickly or kicking the ball away when a decision is given against a player is not punished. All part of the 'professional' side of the game where players are told by coaches to slow the game down and ignored by match officials.

  • For me it’s a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I’m sure that all the Swans fans would agree that they would have liked the ref to be able to refer to VAR during the infamous match against Man City when we were 2-0 up and Sterling dived in the box. I’m my mind it’s the lesser of two evils to have it implemented in any game. My preference is that the decision to go to VAR is left to the managers of each team who would have 3 challenges much like they have in tennis. And they would have to use them wisely as is the case in tennis as you would then lose your challenge should the outcome be at odds with your opinion of the refs decision to award/not award a penalty/free kick/yellow or red card etc.


     One week a bad tackle will be reviewed; the next it won't. One week the ref will go to the screen; the next week he won't, even if it's an almost identical scenario. That I think, confirms the point I am trying to make. The decision to go to the screen is a human decision and not VAR in itself. For me, the person watching the VAR screen should flag up to the ref that he needs to go and look at the screen to see if he has made a clear and obvious error. That way, it is always the ref who makes the decision and not someone who is faceless and unaccountable. Seajack's idea of 3 challenges is also workable as it would still be for the referee to make the decision based on what he saw in real time and then on a pitchside playback.


    Your comments on kicking the ball away and preventing free kicks are spot on. These have been irritating me for years and are so, so easy to eradicate from the game. The ref enters both dressing rooms before the game, telling all players that the first time anyone does it will result in a yellow card and the second offence a red, will soon put a stop to it. Absolutely no excuses when they get carded. I often wish that Nigel Owen had taken up football instead of rugby, although the gutless authorities wouldn't have graded him past local league football.

  • Nothing wrong with VAR, it’s supposed be an assist to look for clear and obvious mistakes. The trouble is it’s being used to replace the refs decision to much, it should not be used with lines for that amount of accuracy to say if someone is offside it should only be used If it is blatantly obvious that the ref has cocked up or someone cheating after a goal or penalty awarded. It should also be used to check for red card incidents, don’t want the ref having to go to the screen every two minutes, it was bad enough that idiot yesterday time wasting every time he blew the whistle, unless he’s booking someone they should not be allowed to hold a game up, who cares if he’s has to spray foam, it’s not needed if the ball is kicked quickly.

  • That’s why I think giving the managers three challenges works so well. They would need to be used sparingly and wisely from a managers point of view to keep a hold of them for crucial decisions. From my point of view the most important times to challenge would be red card and second yellow card incidents as well as penalty, direct free kick and corner decisions. If the ref is already going to a screen on occasion then he can do so thus removing the need for that second layer of confusion. The decision would still be the referees choice to award or not award a penalty free kick etc but he would have the benefit of seeing it with his own eyes for a second time over many angles to remain with the original decision or undo it.

  • Not necessarily VAR related but more to do with last season's rule changes. I noticed yesterday during the Norwich game one of their players (I think it was Steiperman) was stood in our wall when Buendia was taking a free kick. To my knowledge a new rule came in stating that an opposing player wasn't allowed within one metre of the wall when his team were taking a direct free kick. Do I have that wrong? If not then the refs are obviously not enforcing it.

  • The fundamental problem here isn't VAR per se, but rather it's role in highlighting problems with the laws of the game that have been around a long time. So instead of scapegoating referees which happened in pre-VAR days, VAR is now being scapegoated instead.

    Take hand ball. VARs role in various hand ball related penalty decisions has been discussed at length - but what is never acknowledged is that the penalty (literally and figuratively) rarely fits the crime. Goals should, as much as possible, be crafted by skilful play by the team scoring the goal, not because the ball happens to fortuitously strike the outstretched arm of an opposition player when the shot or pass might otherwise have not resulted in a goal. The solution is to revise the laws of the game - in this case a penalty should only be awarded in the event of handball if a goalscoring opportunity is being denied - otherwise a direct free kick should be awarded. It would introduce an element of subjectivity - but far better that than the current scenario that results in undeserved goals and a lot of needless hot air about VAR.

    I still remember clearly an incident from our 2-2 draw with Aston Villa in the Premier League back in 2013. Villa were awarded a penalty late on as a result of a push by Nathan Dyer on Andreas Weimann on the left hand edge of the box. Quite apart from the fact that the decision was a dubious one, Weimann had his back to goal on the edge of the box, going nowhere. The chance of Villa scoring in that situation was negligible - but thanks to the laws of the game Villa were gifted a goal that their play didn't merit.

    A fundamental review of the laws of the game are long overdue. VAR is beautifully highlighting the fact - it's just a shame that football's decision-makers are failing to comprehend this underlying reality.

  • Quite right. It is the offside rule that is a mess - VAR just highlights it. Offside should be quite simply measured from where your feet are - specifically from a line drawn through your leading foot. IMHO the position of the rest of your body is irrelevant. Don’t blame VAR.

  • VAR is only a mess because of human errors of interpretation and football politics of referees

    VAR would have served us well so far this season with a pen at Norwich and a pen disallowed for Bristol City

    Other examples too

  • Biggest stupid decision I saw (I think) was an offside given for a player's arm being offside. You can't score with your arm (usually).

    Nothing wrong with VAR apart from the refs making mistakes on the field are now "supported" by refs making mistakes off the field. And they are "not supported" by those who MAKE UP new laws.

    How many years were there without new laws? Now they've gone mad. Keeper changes .....4 steps ..... only 6 secsonds to hold the ball (gone out of the window I think).

    As many have posted offside and handball have become a joke .. seems if players wear straight jackets and the ball hits them......PENALTY! Offside .....they'll be using micrometers soon.

  • ....and Mr. Thierry Daniel Henry

  • Come on guys, come down from the clouds and be realistic. VAR is utter shit, spoiling the game of football. FACT.

  • @OnceaJack

    No its not. Its the stupid rule changes, that are making a mockery. Stupid handball rules, stupid offside rules and stupid tackle rules.

    Even the normally very sensible Alan Curtis said on Saturday after a Guehi tackle that won the ball.

    'No there wasnt any contact on the Norwich player, but he had to take evasive action to avoid contact therefore it is a freekick and a yellow card.'

    So that is what the rule-makers have brought us to, a player tackles another player, he wins the ball cleanly, he doesn't make any contact with the player but because he jumps to get out of the way and falls on the floor, its a freekick and yellow card.

    There is now more contact allowed in a non-contact sport such as field hockey and netball than is allowed in football. The rule-makers are killing the sport, VAR just allows you to see the idiocy in UHD and Super Slo-Mo.

  • Wyn is correct in his assessment of the VAR system. It is being scapegoated when it should be recognised as something which has the potential for doing some good in the game of football. What was turning out to be an entertaining and satisfying game of football in the form of the FA Cup game against Man City soon became the complete opposite due to the actions of a biased/incompetent referee. For me this also killed the game and the use of VAR on the day would likely have tipped the game in our favour for a historic win. Who knows how far we could have gone in that competition having dumped out who would ultimately become the eventual cup winners. Let’s face it, it is the errors, whether called by the referee alone or with the help of VAR that ruins the game of football. It is the errors and how they are arrived at which need to be looked at in more detail. If the rules of football are at fault then every effort should be made to correct them rather than throw the baby out with the bath water as some would like to do.

  • Nigel Owens: 'We need to get back to the referee actually reffing the game' | Sport | The Guardian

    This statement from the article could well be applied to football,

    Trial by slow-motion replay, though, does concern him. “Technology has its place in the game, but it’s being used too much. They have to be very careful it’s only used as a last resort. So much of rugby is a grey area. You’ve got to use your experience, empathy and interpretation to decide whether that whistle needs to get blown or not. The way the game is going it’s becoming unreffable in a sense because every decision is being looked at. We need to get back to the referee actually reffing the game and relying less on the TMO.”

    For TMO apply VAR.

  • Sort out some of the laws and the game will be easier to ref. Does your arm being in an offisde position make you offside.....No it doesnt, or at least it shouldn't.

    I'm old fashioned about offside, if you are ahead of the second player in the opposition, unless you are lying on the ground, then you are offside. It doesnt matter where on the pitch you are, you are interfering with play.

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