The topic of VAR has once again reared its ugly head among Rangers fans and the wider game, following Kemar Roofe’s disallowed goal, a dodgy pen denied or two (both ways around), and the general lack of consensus over the tech’s merits.
One of the complaints pre-VAR was ‘it’s just going to be run by the same idiots and refs who got stuff wrong’.
And that is true.
If Andrew Dallas (no longer a pitch ref but a full time VAR ref now) got something wrong on the pitch, surely he’ll make the same gaffe in the VAR room.
The reality is VAR is a tool, a piece of technology designed to help referees get to the right outcome more often. And to that end, it’s worked.
The problem is the complaint ‘focus’ has just changed now – instead of complaining about a ref getting a call wrong, we are now complaining about how they are using VAR.
End of the day, the decision still rests with human perception, and while the blatant errors have gone massively down (they have), they are still there, and with this tool in place, they’re actually highlighted even more with the ‘outrage’ that this tech is ‘supposed’ to eliminate that.
Well, no, because anything which ultimately rests with human agency is still going to be subject to the same subjective errors, because ‘we all see things differently’.
We have used this example before, when Alan Hansen formerly of Match of the Day was once debating with another pundit and Gary Lineker, and they found themselves disagreeing over the video replay, he asked what difference video evidence could actually make if they find themselves still disagreeing having re-viewed it together 20 times?
And that was 20-30 years ago.
And he was correct, in a big sense – because we’re still ultimately people looking at evidence and making a judgement call.
The tool of VAR makes it a little easier to make the RIGHT judgement call, but the mistakes will still be rounded on and slaughtered by critics of VAR. The same people who will whine at a ref for making a human error in action before VAR existed.
At Ibrox Noise?
We favour it, VAR that is, but we know it’s not perfect because anything which relies on humans to make the decisions will always be fallible.
And that’s why Kemar Roofe was denied his goal.