The VAR technology stops referees becoming despots and posits the revolutionary idea that its OK to change your mind, says slapstick writer Jack Bernhardt
Like many terrible people, I have certain Strongly Held Opinions that I am inexplicably passionate about. Mel C was the best Spice Girl. Fennel is a bad vegetable. The Nivea advert, where Liverpool footballer James Milner get into his automobile and is then inexplicably crushed( to death, we have to presume) by the foot of a dinosaur with absolutely no rationale, is one of the most powerful short movies of the 2010 s. Since the start of the World Cup, I've latched on to a new Strongly Held Opinion, one that I angrily bring up at all opportunities: the new video assistant referee is not just good for football, it is good for society as a whole. In hour, VAR will build us kinder and happier. Perhaps, only perhaps … VAR can redeem humanity.
If you don't know, the video deputy referee is a new aspect of video games, where a group of referees, based in a windowless room somewhere in Moscow( the locating is never disclosed, likely out of a fear that it would be inundated with screaming VAR-mania fangirls ), review the match with the aid of video replays, and alert the referee if he's made a serious fault. It's dramatic, it's exciting, and it's shockingly new( if you haven't watched a game of rugby or cricket in the past two decades, at least ). VAR has been my player of the tournament so far – it's assisted at least two goals, and it looks like it's hungry for more. I, for one, am delighted. I'm planning to turn up to a fanzone for the quarter-finals dressed in full deputy referee kit, chanting” VAR! VAR! VAR! VAR !” and waving a little flag that says:” Let's check it again !”