12 Days of Football 2019/20: Four calls blown
Welcome to this year's edition of the 12 Days of Football on It's Round and It's White. Over the holiday fixtures, our writers will look back on the 2019 calendar year and ahead to the season's end in a series of 12 articles covering different issues and leagues in European football. Today, Cherub Rai recalls four controversial calls from 2019. Enjoy.
The Video Assistant Referee changed football's dynamic. Integrated into Europe's top five leagues with the Premier League joining the rest this season, it's drawn a mixed response.
The intent was to improve decision-making. In terms of goals crossing the line, it has. No one argues when technology rules that a ball has or has not fully entered the goal. That's because the decision is made by a machine, precise and, for all intents and purposes infallible. Adjudicating penalties and offsides remain within the purview of human beings, however. Video technology provides second, third and fourth views in high definition and super slow motion. It also provides lines showing where the last defender and most advanced attacker are. But those images must be interpreted by an imprecise, fallible person. Millions of other imprecise, fallible people tend to disagree with the VAR.
In addition, the suspense of waiting for confirmation or denial of a penalty shout is a vastly inferior replacement to the celebration or outrage of the final but instant decision made before VAR was enacted. If we're not arguing that two officials with time and technology on their side still got it wrong, we're complaining they're killing the spirit of the game. Here are four such complaints.