The implementation of Video Assisted Referrals has had a rough ride at the Confederations Cup in Russia. The system has drawn flak for making the game more confusing and breaking its flow. Here’s a look at how VAR has fared so far in the dress rehearsal to the World Cup:
Celebrations turn sour – Portugal vs Mexico
# Portugal Forward Nani scored but a review by video assistants showed a Portugal player was offside in the build -up to the goal.
# Nani was already celebrating with his teammates when Argentine referee Nestor Pitana asked for the ball and indicated the goal was being reviewed.
# It took about 30 seconds for the decision to be announced.
VAR’s the boss – Mexico vs Cameroon
# Eduardo Vargas had the ball in the net as the match moved into stoppage time at the end of the first half.
# Referee Damir Skomina initially awarded it but then, more than a minute later, he suddenly reversed the decision on the advice of the VAR.
# Vargas and Arturo Vidal vehemently protested the decision.
# Vargas scored another goal from a rebound only to see the linesman’s flag shoot up. But VAR was on his side this time.
Efficiency concerns – New Zealand vs Mexico
# The fiery game had so many on-pitch altercations that the referee had to go to the touchline to assess the skirmishes on a screen, rather than just relying on video replay assistants.
# There were lengthy delays in the game as the referee spoke to the VAR through his headset, upsetting the pace of the match.
# Although three players were eventually booked for their involvement in the second flashpoint, members of both team were upset with pauses in the game.
Review of a review – Cameroon vs Germany
# Ernest Mabouka got a yellow card for a challenge on Emre Can.
# After video referral, the card was upgraded to a red, but instead of Mabouka his teammate Sebastien Siani received the card.
# It was only after Cameroon players insisted that referee Wilmar Roldan reviewed the incident again and realised his error. The decision was changed.