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12 very different opinions on VAR at the World Cup to help you make your mind up

Is the video assistant referee playing a blinder or ruining the tournament?

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The referee during France and Australia’s World Cup game gives a penalty to France (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

The referee during France and Australia’s World Cup game gives a penalty to France (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

The referee during France and Australia’s World Cup game gives a penalty to France (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

After VAR was used to both give and not give penalties during France v Australia and Argentina v Iceland, the technology has gone front and centre much as everyone expected it would.

The first World Cup goal to be given with the help of the video assistant referee saw France’s Antoine Griezmann score from the penalty spot before Australia levelled with a VAR-confirmed spot-kick of their own.

Argentina v Iceland also produced its fair share of questions for the technology, so with plenty of games to come at the 2018 tournament in Russia, what’s everybody saying?

1. Gary Lineker pointed out VAR is only supposed to be used for clear-cut decisions.

2. Former Liverpool left-back John Arne Riise couldn’t see an issue, however.

3. Olympic gold medal winner and hockey player Samantha Quek is already sick of the appeals.

4. Former England centre-back Sol Campbell declared it “the age of technology”.

5. Another former England international, this time Brian Moore of rugby union, said if you’re against VAR you have no leg to stand on when it comes to complaining about referees.

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6. Graeme Le Saux suggested that VAR had failed to rid the game of inconsistencies.

7. Luis Garcia won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, and suggested VAR was making the players lose focus.

8. Some felt that VAR was doing a good job of preventing conversations after the event.

9. Meanwhile, others wondered if VAR could take control.

10. Or indeed whether artificial intelligence was the answer.

11. If there is still a human deciding what is and what isn’t a clear-cut decision, what’s the point in VAR at all?

12. But even deciding whether or not VAR is working is an unclear decision.

Is VAR the future of football?


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