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Should VAR be used in football?
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VAR will reduce cheating and fouling

Cheating should not be tolerated in football and reckless behaviour that can lead to injury should be limited as much as possible. When players know that they are always being watched, they should be less inclined to cheat or play danegously.


VAR stands for Video assistance referee and is a new way technology is used to help football referees on the field when they make decisions. They are mainly used for determining goals, penalty decisions, direct red cards or mistaken identity incidents. The video footage helps the referee to take a decision after viewing the video material. Anyhow, the use of VAR is controversially discussed as it could potentially underpin the role of the referee on the field.

The Argument

The use of VAR in football means that the game is fully monitored by cameras that will more closely detect any foul play or cheating. The possibility for being punished for misconduct rises significantly as the decisions of the referee do no longer only rely on what he sees himself but also on the footage that is captured by VAR. Knowing this, the players should be more hesitant to strategically use cheating or foul play as they know that the risk of being caught increases with VAR. Inevitably, the cost of attempting to cheat goes up and makes it less attractive. This logic is transposed from other fields of our daily lives where camera surveillance is used to deter crimes from happening and to help provide evidence in cases where it happened despite the surveillance. Researchers have found that the presence of cameras does indeed decrease crimes from happening, there is for instance a more than 51 percent drop in crimes committed at parking lots. Even though this is a different field of application, the same results could be observed with the use of VAR in football. That would make the overall game fairer.

Counter arguments

Increased surveillance of players through VAR will not decrease the amount of cheating and foul play. VAR is unable to capture everything that happens on the field which leaves room for cheating and foul play. Furthermore, foul play is often not a premeditated act but an opportunity that can arise in a split second and is thus the result of an instinctive decision. Such decision-making is unlikely to be affected by VAR.



Video surveillance will decrease cheating and foul play.


Surveillance results in conformity.

Rejecting the premises

Surveillance doesn’t alter behavioural patterns.


This page was last edited on Thursday, 1 Oct 2020 at 07:34 UTC

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