The rhythm of the game is being broken by the video referee in Football

Football is one of the most loved sports in the world because of the high level of excitement throughout the match but the use of technology is hampering the game and breaking its rhythm. Many aspects of this game were seen in the recent World Cup in Qatar. For some it was a fairytale (Lionel Messi ended his World Cup career with a win), for others it was a chance to see the skills of the world’s best players (Messi, Kylin Mbappe, Luka Modric) in one place.

It saw some miracle performances (Richardson’s memorable kick) and often considered weak teams (Morocco, Japan, Saudi Arabia) beating established and strong teams, making the story of ‘David and Goliath’ come true. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) interruptions in the FIFA Football World Cup final marred the spectators on several occasions. The match was stopped six times for VAR. This brought disappointment to football fans around the world as well as to the runners-up team of France.

Every second seems like an hour when the referees turn to the off-field television for VAR. In such a situation, many times the goal depends on those few millimeters which we probably cannot see with our eyes. Many football fans believe that football is already delayed by things like free kicks, corners, injuries, and VAR only adds to it. The uncertainty of the outcome is of great importance in sports economics. It’s a simple concept that we know the result in advance, so we probably won’t waste time watching the match.

Another aspect of VAR is that it is benefiting stronger teams. It works like this. If the number of penalty kicks increase after the referee sees the replays, it will help the better teams who create more chances on goal against their opponent. This leads to more fouls from the opposing team’s line and more penalty kicks against them. Normally, about 75 percent of penalty kicks are converted into goals.

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