VAR IS DELIVERING A LETHAL ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT IN THE WORLD OF SPORT- THE NEW AGE JOHN CENA
All right guys, before you start reading this article I need you to take a moment, pause, inhale and say “congratulations” to the ECOWAS side (France) for winning the world cup in Russia 2018. You possibly can’t imagine the joy I felt after they lifted the trophy, although I wanted Croatia to win at some point as the country has never won it- who wouldn’t? What actually baffles me is how quickly the frenzy died out. I thought that we would keep hearing about the world cup victory until the end of the year, oh well, it’s not Big Brother after all.
During the tournament we spotted a major trend which gained global acceptance as it was endorsed by the IFAB, but before I continue, I’d like to ask, have you ever seen a soccer game at a viewing center? The passion is raw, the feeling is tangible, the love for the game is real, and it’s almost unimaginable how you and everyone else in the place become friends in the course of 90 minutes of pure sport. This therefore makes it imperative for innovative companies to come up with ideas and solutions that will further deliver this type of feeling and reduce bad decisions from the officiating personnel.
Over the course of the game we saw various reactions from players, officials, and spectators towards the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). One image that will never leave my mind is that of a young man who literally tore his shirt because the referee denied Nigeria a penalty against Argentina after watching the footage from the VAR.
It was so clear and commentators went ahead to call it “an Argentine moment- moment of hope”. So also, we witnessed a ton of controversies which spurred from the VAR in many other fixtures.
The technology has since come under fire and severe scrutiny as critics have accused it of creating as much confusion as clarity. However, this technology has shown no signs of slowing down as it is currently being used in top flight leagues of the world such as the German Bundesliga and is being considered for the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga for the 2018/19 season.
Furthermore, the VAR has proven to be this sporting generation’s John Cena as it is delivering the very lethal Attitude Adjustment (AA) move on strikers and defenders alike. The VAR curbs the growing trend of defenders body checking the opposing team in the penalty area during a set piece- this made the Russia 2018 world cup the tournament with the highest number of penalties ever with 29 spot kicks awarded.
Well, one thing that’s likely to happen is the VAR’s success may cascade through to other sports in order to sustain disciplined and honest sportsmanship globally. We have over the years seen foul plays that were over looked in the passed- such as the famous “Hand of God” by football legend Diego Maradona. So also in cricket, baseball, basketball, swim meets etc to name a few. If this technology eventually makes it to the EPL, I hope it develops some technical fault each time its decision doesn’t favour Arsenal.