Date: 2nd March 2018 at 10:44pm
Written by:

Rotherham United haven’t played a game where the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has been in use – and after seeing the debacle of the first half of the Spurs v Rochdale FA Cup game this week on TV I’m rather pleased we haven’t.

I might be wrong but I was under the impression that VAR was for incidents that the referee and his assistants couldn’t see or had doubts about.

But on Wednesday night referee Paul Tierney appeared to be asking for VAR on everything often stood on his own in the middle of the pitch, snow falling around him and his finger in his ear giving a good impression of a constipated folk singer with piles.

In the opening six minutes a perfectly good goal was ruled out and a goal-kick given – VAR took what seemed an age to rule out the goal, which a replay to anyone watching on TV had been shown a number of times with the same conclusion – Spurs were one-up, only they weren’t.

Not long afterwards, after Spurs had really gone one-up, despite the finger in the ear again, there was an incident which started outside the box and with the referee giving Rochdale a free-kick. But then VAR got involved and somehow the free-kick turned into a penalty which gave Rochdale the equaliser.

BUT, the original incident did happen outside the box and if the linesman had waved his flag about then the original (and, in my opinion) correct decision of a free-kick outside the box would have been given.

What I can’t understand is that the referee turned to VAR after every goal (and in the end there were seven of them) – why? He’s been making goal decisions in the Premier League for over three years so surely he doesn’t need to turn to someone miles and miles away to ask whether it’s a goal or not?

To me that’s not what VAR is for.

I do think Referees have got to think ‘I’ve been making that decision for years’ and carry on making it. I’m not saying get rid of VAR altogether as it could be useful for penalty decisions if the ref isn’t sure, although I’d think his first port-of-call would be to his assistants running the line.

And if we are going to see more of VAR something has to be done about keeping the crowd informed.

Anyone else got thoughts on VAR? Would you like to see it used for every game? Or just for ‘important’ games (although, to fans every game is important, isn’t it?) Or would you like to get rid of it?

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