When VAR was instituted in the top football leagues, it was a monumental day. It was hailed as the problem solver, an alternate to human error. Now, in hindsight, viewers can reminisce on the tens of points misplaced and they can only draw one conclusion: VAR creates more problems than it solves.
After Matchday 26 in the Premier League, days after the Brighton vs West Bromwich Albion match which had two goals controversially disallowed, Chelsea had a stalemate with Manchester United. After the game, United defenseman Luke Shaw, referring to an incident where Callum Hudson-Odoi batted the ball down in his own box, relayed what he thought he had heard between his captain Harry Maguire and the referee. In his words, Stuart Atwell, the referee, said to Maguire that he could not give the penalty because people will talk too much.
The day after, The FA considered fining Luke Shaw for speaking out. The old saying is do not kill the messenger. Luke Shaw was the messenger. The FA’s own referee was the perpetrator. The one who decided against a penalty because of outside influences, yet the decide to consider condemning Shaw for telling the media. It all stems from one thing: the mismanagement of VAR.
The new technology is meant to surpass humans, not to be held back by them. In the same vain, it cannot run on its own. It needs rules, it needs regulation, and it needs consistency. Those are the seeds that have been unattended to. Killing the messenger will do no good in watering them.
Of course, the FA never charged Shaw, but, neither did they look into the referees, nor did they review the Brighton game, nor have they ever looked into any of the games. Controversy is left alone, in the past, until it builds up and boils over.
Technology run on its own is useless, but technology over-regulated is. . . also useless. The FA (and other football associations) need to take responsibility, mediate their own technology, and hold their own accountable ASAP. The game of football can no longer be affected by unrelated factors. For the game, sort this out.