In the short amount of time English football has used Video Assistant Referees (VAR), it’s fair to say the innovation hasn’t been brilliantly received.
Instead of anger at wrong decisions being made, as is normally the case, games like West Bromwich Albion’s FA Cup win at Liverpool have brought anger at the right decisions.
Some of the kerfuffle was at least predictable, though, with fear of change seeing fans pre-empt exactly what we’re seeing now, to the point that we’re wondering whether football should bother with referees at all.
However, while there will be plenty saying ‘I told you so’, there can’t be too many who will have foreseen what happened in the Portuguese Primeira Liga game between Aves and Boavista.
The home side kickstarted their battle against relegation with a 3-0 win, but their third goal – scored by Vitor Gomes – looked offside at first glance.
The referee noticed the appeals from Boavista players, and the use of VAR in league games meant he could actually do something about it… or so he thought.
He signalled for the decision to be taken to the video ref, which happened immediately, but instead of a replay of the incident he was greeted with this.
Perhaps more football decisions need to be made on the basis of, “Hey, should we stop to consider whether a massive flag could get in the way?”
Anything on the field of play? No risk of a flag ruining things unless they’ve somehow left one lying around after some pre-match festivities.
Transfer deals? Unless a flag clogs up a fax machine then you’re golden, though maybe that’s more an issue with continuing to use fax machines rather than doing everything digitally.
Still, maybe put the cameras on the roof of the stadium next time, lads?
(Images: Willian Justen de Vasconcellos/Twitter/Rex)