Everyone who comes here regularly knows I’m a big advocate of VAR in football. I’ve written multiple articles about why I believe VAR should be introduced in all the big leagues. Nevertheless I think the VAR shambles in the English FA Cup isn’t an advert for the introduction of this system. There are a few points I noticed during the FA Cup matches today that makes me feel the English FA isn’t taking VAR seriously.
VAR shambles in FA Cup
I’ve collected two points why I believe the FA is making a mockery out of VAR.
Only a few selected matches
VAR is all about making the sport more fair. The FA selected nine matches in which they will have the presence of VAR. 9 out of 32 matches is about 28% of all third round matches. That’s not my definition of a fair competition. I’ve seen VAR being used to give a penalty to Manchester United against Reading. An hour later there was an incident around Morata, but there was no VAR selected for that match. Grimsby Town player Andrew Fox got a red card in the second minute of the match against Crystal Palace. This red card was awarded after interference by VAR. Crystal Palace won this match in the end with 1-0, nobody knows what would have happened if the FA decided to select a VAR for Chelsea versus Nottingham Forrest instead of Crystal Palace versus Grimsby Town.
It takes too long
This is something that annoyed me during while watching several VAR matches. But I’ve never seen something like the match between Burnley and Barnsley. Burnley was awarded a penalty kick and Matej Vydra started his run to shoot the ball towards the goal, when VAR stopped him because they noticed there was an offside situation in the built-up to the fault that led to the penalty. I know it takes time for referees to get used to VAR, but this is something they need to improve. The Australian A-League is the prime example for VAR. They introduced VAR years ago and things are going really fast nowadays.
Let’s hope the VAR shambles will be better in the near future, and we finally get the chance to see this in the Premier League.