After being used throughout last season's FA Cup, along with other competitions worldwide, the decision was taken to implement VAR - Video Assistant Referee - into the Premier League for the upcoming 2019-20 campaign. Despite its troubled beginnings in English football, there is optimism that VAR can be a success and help to clarify much of the confusion that exists within the modern game. Although the intentions are to ensure consistency among many of the difficult decisions that need to be taken by referees, there is also a slight fear that its implementation could take some of the passion out of football.
As a result of that fact, we're going to consider whether VAR can be successful in the Premier League along with also looking at its involvement in the opening weekend of the season and how other industries have effectively implemented video technology.
A Controversial Start
In Manchester City's 5-0 victory over West Ham in their opening game of the season, VAR was used on numerous occasions to clarify several unclear situations. Although England's Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick, the game was overshadowed by VAR. After the conclusion of the match, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola warned that the new technology risks taking the passion out of football as players, supporters and staff are being forced to wait before celebrating in certain circumstances. Moreover, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo stated his frustration at the technology when it took almost two minutes for Leander Dendoncker's goal against Leicester City to be ruled out by VAR.
Although the decisive nature of the technology resulted in some backlash, ultimately VAR showed that it can successfully clarify difficult decisions. While there is still a range of issues that need ironing out, there is scope for the technology to be immensely instrumental in the future of the English game. Crucially, patience is key to the future success of video technology in the Premier League.
How Video Technology Has Revolutionised Other Industries
Aside from VAR, goal-line technology has had an outstanding impact on football across the globe. What separates the two at present, however, is the fact that the goal-line equivalent provides an instant answer and thus does not interfere with the flow of the game. With that being said, video technology has been effectively implemented into a range of different industries over the last few years.
Outside of football, tennis has been one of the largest sports to benefit from the introduction of video technology. In 2002, Hawk-Eye was introduced and continues to deliver innovative solutions within the sport. Unlike VAR, video technology in tennis allows for an almost instant decision to be made which appears both clear and decisive. Potentially, the governing body of English football could learn from Hawk-Eye and offer managers the opportunity to challenge certain decisions, as opposed to reviewing everything and thus threatening to kill the passion of the game.
Aside from its uses within sport, platforms such as Mr Green have utilised video technology to modernise traditional casino games like blackjack through their live casino opportunities. The implementation of this modern technology has not only changed how the game is played but also how it's viewed. The introduction of video technology brings online gamers closer than ever before to the action through a range of special themes in an entertaining and friendly environment. The success of video technology in this industry illustrates that, if shown patience, VAR can flourish in the Premier League.
VAR Continues to be Divisive
While VAR has only just begun its involvement in the Premier League, it's already dividing opinion. Ultimately, if VAR is to be successful within English football, as it has been in many other industries, then it needs to be given time. There is still much to figure out when it comes to its usage and implementation, but clarity and consistency will only occur if patience is shown.