Sports, Football

VAR decisions, a great concern, as it turns into a game decider

Published : 26 Nov 2022 08:01 PM

The VAR decision is one of the hot talks in the World Cup 2022 when the decisions during Argentina and Saudi Arabia are on top after disallowing the three goals of Argentina.  

Three goals were disallowed after the VAR reviews when Saudi Arabia had dream victory over the top favourites Messi’s Argentina by 2-1. 

What happened in the match: After only six minutes, a corner was played into the area which was easily claimed by Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais, but there was a VAR review for a penalty and Lionel Messi scored from penalty.  

VAR review: FIFA said ahead of the tournament that jostling inside the penalty area would be penalised on a more regular basis, but the decision to give a spot kick to Argentina and Saudi Arabia for Saud Abdullhamid holding back Leandro Paredes seemed to be another soft decision. It doesn't really fit with the mantra that VAR should be "minimal interference for maximum benefit."

This does bring us back to the other incident in England's game against Iran, when Harry Maguire didn't get a penalty. 

The key difference was that the VAR overturned off side against Lautaro Martinez when he scored a second goal for Argentina in the 27th minute, or so he thought but VAR decision was no goal but, offside.

VAR review: With FIFA’s semi-automated offside technology making decisions faster and more accurately, it didn't take long for Martinez's goal to be disallowed. The Argentina striker was leaning in front of the last defender, which wasn't spotted by the assistant referee.

It was a tight one, but players are able to play the ball and score a goal with the upper part of their arm, so it was correct to disallow the goal.

There were two other first-half Argentina goals disallowed for offside, another against Martinez and one for Messi, which were correctly flagged by the assistant.

An Ecuador goal by Porozo against Netherlands was disallowed. Ecuador thought they had equalised in first-half injury time when Angelo Preciado shot from the edge of the area, and Pervis Estupinan deflected the ball into the back of the net. However, Jack Porozo was in an offside position in front of Netherlands goalkeeper Andries Noppert and the assistant raised his flag.

The VAR review, an incredibly harsh offside call on Ecuador, but not a decision that would be seen as technically wrong. It's far from certain that the VAR, Shaun Evans of Australia, would have advised this subjective element of offside be penalised if the flag had not gone up.

 At the point the ball touches Estupinan, Porozo is still in an offside position but no longer in the goalkeeper's line of vision. Noppert is also already diving in an attempt to save Preciado initial shot. The ball then goes very close to Porozo, on the opposite site to Noppert, before going into the goal.

The offside law doesn't require the goalkeeper to be able to save the ball when an attacker is in an offside player, he only has to be impacted.

VAR review much like the Cristiano Ronaldo incident vs. Ghana, the VAR (for this game, Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez) had only a check of this, rather than a full review, before deciding there was no clear and obvious error by the referee.

When looking at incidents in the penalty area, the VAR will always be looking at an attacker's motives.  

In this incident, Afif places his body in front of Sarr, which leads to the contact and him going to ground. It can be argued that is simply a case of Afif trying to shield the ball, which he has every right to. Others will say that Afif has no intention of playing the ball himself and he is trying to use his body position to win a penalty.

Because both explanations are valid, the VAR is unlikely to intervene upon the referee's decision. As with Ronaldo, the decision of the referee -- penalty or no penalty -- will remain as it is.

 Besides Netherlands-Ecuador match, decisions during the matches of Mexico-Tunisia, Germany Japan, Qatar-Senegal, Wales- Iran, Portugal-Ghana also gave birth so mnay controversies. 

So far a Total of nine goals were overturned, one goal was rejected overturn, 

Rejected overturns: 1, leading to goals 2, leading to disallowed goals, 4, penalties awarded, 4 (2 missed), for holding 2, for handball one 1 and for goals 

ruled out for offside 4 while one red card was sown by VAR decision.