A Very Angry Rant About The A-League's Broken VAR
Fans are not happy. Ant is not happy, You already know why.
Well, it happened again. Like last year, the A-League Grand Final was marred by a VAR controversy.
Now, if you don’t know what VAR stands for, it’s Video Assistant Referee, but it might as well be Very Awful Review or Vaguely Accurate Ruling, or even Vastly Amateurish Rubbish because that would be a reasonable assessment of the output from the VAR bunker.
This is NOT to disrespect officialdom. To use another phrase with the initials VAR, I’m not trying to Villainise All Refs.
The villains here are the process, and the technology.
In last year’s grand final, a software error allowed an offside goal to stand, effectively robbing the Newcastle Jets of a title.
In the Sydney derby earlier this year, a goal referred to the VAR was overturned for reasons no one understood at the time, least of all Wanderers coach Markus Babbel, who was so annoyed, he kicked a sign and was red-carded.
Then last weekend, that Sydney FC goal was disallowed for offside even though replays showed it was fine.
The problem in this case was that the VAR couldn’t draw a line across the screen like the broadcaster could. It was like having pilots with no control over their own plane.
There’s talk now the VAR should be scrapped. I don’t agree with that.
As fans, we just want a bunker that doesn't intervene in every minor ref’s decision, and that has all the necessary tools and equipment that actually works.
Football Federation Australia chief David Gallop said of last weekend's grand final stuff-up that in hindsight it looked like a “marginally incorrect call”.
David, there’s no such thing in life as a “little bit pregnant” or “marginally incorrect”. It’s either right or wrong… and this was clearly wrong. Look at the picture above. Nothing marginal about it.
So then. The A-League's clear job here is to spend the summer getting it right. That’d be a VAR for all football fans -- as in a Very Appropriate Response.