Monday Musings – VAR/Disciplinary

Monday musings for today comes off the back of the “controversial” red card (if you haven’t seen it, you can see it here) that Cristiano Ronaldo received in the UEFA Champions League game. The video appears to show what looks like a Valencia player slipping, followed by Ronaldo throwing his arms up (in protest of the whistle I assume) followed by the grab of a big chunk of the Valencia player’s hair. Do I think it’s a red? Yes. And frankly, hair grab or not, he put himself in this position by doing anything with another player’s (especially an opposition player) head. Regardless, that’s just the springboard for today’s musings…
What do you think of the English FA’s move last year to review potential diving situations with a three-man panel. Is this something that should be done more widely? Maybe for all (straight) red cards? Some specific FAs offer a change to appeal subsequent game bans, but don’t change the initial ruling.
Cue VAR. Video Assistant Review was used in the World Cup to review for potential offsides, red cards, penalties, etc. Should this be more widely utilized? Most of the major soccer leagues in the word have implemented some sort of decision-assist technology, most commonly goal-line technology, which is used to determine if the ball completely crosses the line. Only a couple leagues – including Major League Soccer – have implemented more robust VAR, and while it was discussed (negatively) leading up to the World Cup, it had a pretty decent first trial. Yes, there were stoppages at points where there could be substantial game-changing moments, they were relatively quick and didn’t seem to adversely impact the game.
What should the role of VAR and assistive technology be in the future? Should red card review in game or post-game be widely utilized in the game? Or should we realize that referees are making split second judgment calls based on their perceptions? What is the balance between the possibility for a missed/bad call and the propensity for a review, potentially involving a prolonged stoppage and review?
Join us for next week’s musings…
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