The Video Assistant Referee or VAR in short, was introduced in football so as to help prevent the occurrence of controversial mistakes while controlling the game.
But it only appears as if the number of controversies have risen ever since VAR was made a part of major footballing competitions across the world.
A remarkable occasion would be last week’s Champions League game between PSG and Manchester United, where fans are still divided on the degree of correctness of a VAR call that granted United an important penalty.
Top footballing competitions like the World Cup, Champions League, and so on have all employed VAR as part of their efforts to judge situations accurately. VAR is also present in many of Europe’s top-flight leagues including the La Liga (it will be used in the Premier League from the 2019-’20 season).
Meanwhile yesterday, the new technology stirred up yet another controversy, during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Real Valladolid.
Sergi Guardiola of Valladolid scored in the first half, but the goal was disallowed by VAR review. At the same time, the Spanish broadcasters of the tournament cut to a VAR room intending to show the action inside, only to reveal it to be empty:
Am I being blind or is there no one in that VAR room? Weird… pic.twitter.com/sSJeMSjHB2
— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) March 10, 2019
Doubts started arising in the minds of supporters, who instantly called the situation out on social media.
It was later explained that it was not a fault of the officials, but rather a fault of the cameramen of the broadcasters, who chose to film an unused VAR room instead of the one that was used in the game. The actual room is the one below, as found corrected a few moments later.
The Mirror reported that the stadium had a number of VAR control rooms with TV cameras installed, and that the broadcasters accidentally showed an empty room that had been used in another game previously.
Real Madrid came from behind to win the game 4-1, a hugely comforting result following their recent losses across competitions. Karim Benzema scored a brace for the Los Blancos as Raphael Varane and Luka Modric added one each to their goalscoring tally.