VAR effect: Penalty kicks increased by 63% in Serie A

One of the most interesting news of this Serie A campaign is the introduction of VAR. The video assistant referee has already helped Italian referees to change some wrong decisions they took but, of course, there is a direct consequence of the application of this new tool. Penalty kicks given in the opening five Serie A games of the season, in fact, have increased by 63%. An average of 13.5 penalties were given in the opening five games of the previous four Serie A campaigns but the introduction of the VAR has skyrocketed the number of penalties allowed in Italy this season. One positive example of the usage of VAR came when the referee of Juventus - Fiorentina, Daniele Doveri, awarded Juventus a penalty kick. After a VAR check, however, Doveri noticed Milan Badelj’s foul was outside the penalty area and so he decided to give Juventus a free kick plus booking the Croat for a second time and giving him his marching orders. During Genoa - Juventus, however, the referee allowed a penalty kick against Juventus without noticing that the player fouled by Daniele Rugani was returning from an offside position. So far, there are more pros than cons although many improvements have yet to be made. (Source: Calciomercato)
The president of the Italian Football Association has said he believes the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in Serie A this season has been a success so far. Italy's top division is one of several European leagues using the technology to review contentious situations. And Carlo Tavecchio said he was pleased with what he had seen during the first six rounds of matches, telling RAI Radio 1: "The VAR is something that I wanted a long time ago. It is a great method of justice, above all, and I would like to say that at least 10 decisions have been corrected, and these have ensured sporting justice. Like anything, it takes time to get used to it, but as far as the time [taken for decisions] is concerned, the data shows that it is taking a bit longer than we had expected and we need to reduce the time it takes. But even the technology is led by humans, and humans are not perfect". Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said he believed the use of VAR would soon spread, adding: "Bit by bit, as it goes on, you get the best out of it. The VAR is being used correctly in Italy, and I'm very happy because Italy is pioneering an important change. I think there will be uniformity in coming years and this technology will arrive in all countries. It's a positive development". (Source:ESPN)