VAR From the Maddening Crowd

Technology in football has been a long time coming. It’s lagged behind almost every other sport. I’ve heard a lot of dissension about it. VAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing, say it again. We’re an impatient bunch, us football supporters, it’s due to my age, I know, but I’m sure each generation get worse. I remember when line judge technology came into tennis. Too many arguments between players and umpires bringing down the elitist reputation of the game, as the the financial rewards grew. How we laughed and poked fun when the sensor went ‘beep’ for no reason. Human beings are pretty impatient by nature. We want things to be faster than instant. Fast forward to now in tennis, we’ve learned to wait for a decision reliant on technology, because we know it’s going to be correct. The vast majority of the original decisions made by the judges being deemed correct. Us humans may strive to be perfect, but we’re not, and never will be, yet we still expect it in others. The uproar surrounding cricket, a sport that celebrates and revels in its history and culture, when the use of technology was first mutated was even louder than tennis had been. Again, fast forward to the present, we’re patient whilst waiting for a referred decision, because we trust it to be the correct one. Both sports have tinkered with their use of technology, and no doubt, will continue to. After all, we still want instant. Both codes in rugby have embraced the use of technology, both codes with their different variations. Both sports having shorter time spans to tennis and cricket, but also football. Both sports having differing social backgrounds, the elitist Union, (Unless you’re in Wales) and working class League. Football has been copping out for years, decades now. To the point where we metaphorically resemble an ostrich burying its head in the sand. Ridiculed for being backward. We’re behind other sports, they’ve had their teething problems, of course they have. It’s not going to be instantly perfect in football, but like the four sports, (Claim both codes of rugby as one, but they’re not. Try explaining the differences) they’re now at a stage where the sport is enhanced by the use of technology and doesn’t deflect from your enjoyment. Football is only just taking its first steps in its use, let’s not push it over. Allow the use to develop until like other sports, you wouldn’t do without it, and wonder why we dragged our feet with taking so long. Far too long in my opinion. An opinion I’ve held since discovering that Sky had the technology to effectively start showing a replay before a taken penalty had hit the net. That was back in the second millennium, when we changed from analog to digital. It’s VAR from perfect but then a single computer doesn’t fill an entire room anymore.

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