It was the 84th minute of the game in the Cornellà field. At that time, Almería, who was losing 3-2 against a Spanish already descended, it was second meat. Then Ramazani entered the ‘perica’ area and was blocked, but the match referee, Soto Grado, admonished the striker from Almería for simulating the fall. However, from the room VAR they invited him to approach the band to see the play, in which, obviously, Ramazani was brought down by a rival defender. After three minutes of nerves and tension, the referee had to accept his mistake and accepted the VAR correction, indicating a penalty that Embarba converted into the final 3-3. Result that saved Almería and condemned Valladolid. The VAR had been, once again, decisive.
One more time of the almost 180 in which he has intervened this season to amend the plan to the referee on duty after making a rude mistake. VAR interventions in these five years in which it has been implemented in arbitrations have not stopped shooting. From the 113 times it was consulted in the first season, 2018-19, to 141 in 2020-21, and in the present it has shot up to almost 180. A number that is equivalent to one intervention in every two games, when playing 360 during the season.
For Pedro Martín, the data expert journalist for the COPE network, “The arbitrations this year have been especially bad with very rude errors. But the worst thing is the indiscriminate use of VAR. An erroneous use at the root because in the end the VAR is a technology, but always subject to the human criteria of whoever sits down to use it. And what ends up is by re-arbitrating the matches. If the referee does not see something on the field, unless it is fragrant, there is no reason to re-arbitrate it from the televisions by another referee who sees something else. The VAR can no longer be changed and the only solution is to remove it from football as it is conceived.”
VAR has never had such an impact, since if we look at the classification, the variations caused by video arbitration affect both the League champion, Barcelona, and the three relegated teams. If the League had been played without VAR, the champion would have been the real Madrid and the descendants would be Valladolid, Almería and Elche. Getting rid of Espanyol. This, like everything, has several readings. The whites will say that the VAR has harmed them to the point of taking away the title, while the Catalans can answer that the VAR, as a technology that makes football fairer, gives them a title that they would not have won if the technology had not corrected refereeing errors .
Refereeing from Las Rozas
For Martín, “football today is re-arbitrated from Las Rozas and that kills the spirit of this sport as we know it. What will be next, replay the games? I would not be surprised, I would even like it, if Espanyol’s complaint for the goal they were whistled against goes ahead when there is not a single proof that the ball had fully entered. You can not whistle a goal without proof that ever justifies it. For me The solution would be for the teams to have two ‘challenges’, as they are done in field hockey or basketball, and ask for them when they deem it appropriate. They ask for VAR and if they are correct they maintain the possibility of appealing again and if the ruling is against them they spend a bullet. In this way, the referees would dedicate themselves to whistling, knowing that they are right or wrong, they will continue, and not as now they take refuge in the VAR. Is there anything more useless than an assistant now? They don’t help the referee because they let the offsides be played to see what happens and when they fail they know that they will be corrected. It’s nonsense.”
The VAR has eaten the referees. Many of them whistle with a net, knowing that if they make a mistake they will always come to their aid. The same as some assistants who, as Pedro warns, are totally disfigured by their lack of prominence and authority. Nobody wants to relive that scene of Mejuto and ‘Rafa, don’t fuck with me’. Now, let the VAR speak and they save themselves the embarrassment.
Almería, saved by the VAR
If we observe the variation of the classification due to the corrections of the video arbitration, it stands out that with a conventional arbitration, Barça would have six points less than what it has and Madrid would add nine more points. Therefore, technology has taken its toll on the whites and relieved the culés. Atlético has also benefited, having five more points than it would have without video arbitration. Betis, with the classic arbitrations, would have lost eight points, and Almería, has saved five points thanks to technology, are other beneficiaries of the better monitoring of the matches. Among the most punished, or those clubs that did better with the human eye with the telematics, appear a Cádiz that loses five points and an Espanyol that loses the same and with it the category. Never has VAR intervened so much and with such importance.