The script couldn’t have been written better on Tuesday night in Paris, the latest trial using VAR (Video Assistant Referee) to help officiate the match.
VAR has already been used at the FIFA Club World Cup and the Football Association wants to use it in next season’s (2017/18) FA Cup from the third round onwards.
Last night France lost 2-0 to Spain in this friendly but more importantly it perfectly illustrates why the tide of modern technology cannot be held back any longer.
Cricket, Rugby and Tennis have all been enhanced by the use of the technology and yet the biggest sport of all has so far been resistant to it.
This France v Spain game though, surely will convince many more that they need to fast track the use of a Video Assistant Referee.
Antoine Griezmann headed France into the lead just after half-time with the (on the pitch) officials effectively giving the goal, only for the extra video official to be able to tell the referee that the striker was very definitely, even if only marginally, offside and the ‘goal’ ruled out.
Silva gave Spain the lead and then Deulofeu added a second, only for it to be flagged offside by the on-pitch linesman.
Once again the video official intervened and the goal was given, as he could clearly see that the player wasn’t infringing.
So taking these events literally, last night if there hadn’t been video technology in place, the French ‘goal’ would have stood and the second Spanish goal would have been ruled out.
Effectively turning a 2-0 win to Spain into a 1-1 draw, or probably very likely a win for France because they would have taken a lead and had the upper hand in that second period.
This was just a friendly but imagine a Champions League final or title/relegation/promotion decider? The wrong team winning a trophy, getting relegated, promoted etc etc. Especially if it was Newcastle United who were wrongly affected.
How can you argue that keeping the status quo is preferable and the wrong team winning, based on the rules and what all of us can see when watching from home.
Fair enough, the pundits will suffer because they no longer will be able to berate linesmen who make the wrong call based on an instant split second decision with often only the slightest distance for the naked eye to make a decision on.
Didier Deschamps speaking after his team’s 2-0 loss to Spain and his team seeing both video decisions go against him and his players:
“If it is verified and it is fair, why not (use Video Assistant Referee)?”
“It changes our football a little.
“It is against us today but if we have to go through this, it will be the same for everyone.
“Without it (Video Assistant Referee), it would have been different, but it is the evolution of football – that is how it will be.”
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