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Should VAR be used in football?
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Video review has been a success in other sports

The TMO in rugby brought no such controversy to the game and has been widely embraced. This shows that similar success in football is possible.
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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

VAR should be used in football on a general basis as it has proven to be an effective tool not only in football but also in other sports like rugby. TMO which stands for Television match official is the person that supervises the video-based technology called Hawk-eye that is used similarly to VAR to help referees make more informed decisions since 1995. In rugby, the use of TMO is limited to the scoring of a try and to assess possible foul play. Overall, this method is said to be a success for rugby as its use follows clearer rules than it is the case with VAR in football at the moment. The first difference is, that the video evidence is overseen by a second person (the TMO) other than the referee on the pitch which balances out the initial bias of the referee. The TMO is only used in the case where the referee deems it necessary to reach a conclusive decision to prevent unnecessary interruptions that alter the flow of the game. Such a narrower use of VAR would make its use more efficient and less controversial. VAR should learn from the advances in rugby made since 1995 to improve itself.

Counter arguments

The situations that are assessed by the video assistants in rugby and football are too different to be compared to each other. Consequently, VAR should be reformed and regulated in a way that suits the sport of football and its specialties rather than copying what has shown to be effective for rugby.



The example of the success of TMO in rugby should serve as an example to football and the use of VAR.


Situations are comparable and solutions to them are transposable.

Rejecting the premises

Situations cannot be compared to each other and thus solutions have to be unique and aren’t transposable.


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 17 Jun 2020 at 14:08 UTC

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