Sports

UEFA president criticises VAR use, says football needs uncertainty

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NYON, Switzerland: Football needs uncertainty, the head of European football body UEFA said on Wednesday (Dec 4), as he criticised the way VAR technology had changed the character of matches.

Aleksander Ceferin said that UEFA would propose football's rulemaking IFAB make changes to the way the VAR system, officially introduced in 2018, was being implemented, though he did not want to give more details.

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UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin during a press conference. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

The use of VAR, where match officials use video replays to check decisions by the referee on the pitch and flag possible mistakes, has been surrounded by controversy over the last few months.

Critics say the system goes far beyond its original remit and that decisions are taking too long.

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"The game is changing and we are afraid that it is changing too much," Ceferin told reporters following a UEFA executive committee meeting, adding that the search for refereeing perfection was futile.

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"Football needs uncertainty because the players make mistakes and the referees on the pitch have to take responsibility, not some people hidden in a van or a building 500 kilometres from the venue," he said.

"I can live with the fact that referees are human beings who make mistakes but now when technology makes a mistake, that is a problem," he said.

Ceferin said he was not against VAR in principle but said that "we have to make it clearer, we have to make it faster, we have to make it less invasive – but it will stay."

One of the biggest sources of controversy has involved offside decisions where VAR officials use gridlines superimposed on the screen, leading to goals being disallowed because a player's tRead More – Source