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Should VAR be used in football?
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VAR kills the passion of the game

The rules of football were mostly created more than 100 years ago. They reflect a vastly different time long before television cameras and with less skilled referees. As a result, some of these rules don't function as intended when we can suddenly see the tiniest details of what happened.

The Argument

Many players and coaches within the Premier League are protesting against the use of VAR, and they certainly have a case for its inconsistencies and shortcomings. The passion of sports lies within the humanity and, at times, lack of clarity in plays on the field, and VAR does away with the nebulous nature of sports. Technological advancements have allowed referees to see plays much more clearly than ever before, yet such clarity, to many people within the football community at the highest level, destroys all spontaneity and unpredictability of the game. John Aldridge of Liverpool, after an especially bad weekend in 2019, said, "VAR is killing the passion of our game for all supporters and I really fear we are taking away one of the best moments in football by using technology that has holes all over it."[1] Suffice it to say, footballers and managers alike believe VAR is hurting rather than helping the overall dynamic of the game.

Counter arguments

Accuracy should be prioritized over any lack of ambiguous "passion" that players and managers cite once the VAR does not favor them. The VAR is not designed to contribute to the spontaneity of the game, and many argue that the inaccuracy with which the game was played 60 years ago was incredibly detrimental to the game itself. The referees are also not watching back every single play with VAR, so they are not meticulously observing each call to rule on it. The passion in football is not suddenly removed because of one stoppage if play in which the referees look at a play more closely so as to prevent a team of being wrongfully rewarded.



[P1] The passion in sports like football comes from the spontaneity and unpredictability of the game, human error acting as part of that dynamic. [P2] VAR is a form of technological advancement that too meticulously observes the subtleties and human errors of the game, taking away all passion and spontaneity. [P3] VAR should not be used in football.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] "Passion" is an ambiguous term, and the idea that VAR takes that spontaneity away simply disregards all the benefits to the game it posits. Accuracy should be valued over arbitrary "passion" every time. [Rejecting P3] VAR should not be banned from football because of unclear "passion."


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 1 Sep 2020 at 13:14 UTC

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