Football as we knew it no longer exists; it will be better to get used to it. We entered the VAR era and can no longer do without it. From the World Cup comes an unequivocal and unexpected message, given the perplexities related to the inexperience of many referees. Dissolved. At the bottom, the VAR is experienced in Italy, Germany, Portugal and a few other tournaments, but elsewhere it is almost unknown. Yet the result so far is extraordinary: 20 cases resolved, many decisive, and only 3 "human" mistakes because the referees, who remain the decision-makers, gave up the help. In all probability, they will pay the price by leaving the World Cup.
Twenty or so cases, some very difficult, like the penalty awarded yesterday by Mazic to Senegal (alleged foul of Sanchez on Mané) and then cancelled after video review because the contact is with the ball. Like Korea's 1-0 with Germany: the touch of Kroos that brought Kim back into play was invisible to the human eye. On the list is also the 2-2 of Spain to Morocco (Aspas was not offside, but the AR should have been Robocop) and the simulation of Neymar with Costa Rica (Kuipers was good to change his decision). Decisions are made on average in less than a minute and the percentage of errors is 0.8% (down from 5%). The downside is that, compared to 2014, refereeing errors have increased: at least 16 for FIFA. The average number of referees has been lowered. And in fact for the final there is not a favorite, but a list of those who have done better: Pitana, Kuipers, Faghani, Geiger, Cunha, Mazic, Diedhou and Rocchi (who "pays" for the 2014 final to Rizzoli, but never say never).
If the referees are improving, if the reinforced VAR (with 4 officials) passes all under the microscope and the world has accepted it, it will be good that some players stop protesting. Of course, some mistakes could be avoided. But only two influential errors: the penalty denied to Serbia against Switzerland and the one taken away from Sweden with the Germans (the ranking has put things right). Bad decisions by Brych and Marciniak. The penalty not given to England against Tunisia is irrelevant. The VAR is also the World Championship won by Italy. Infantino wanted it, as his first post-election decision. Collina and Busacca promoted it, studying and appointing referees on the field and on video. Rosetti managed the project. And Boban defended him when some certainty seemed to waver. We are at the World and we are making it fairer. And we should not call it slow motion.
Source: La Gazzetta Dello Sport