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Should VAR be used in football? Show more Show less

The video assistant referee (VAR) has proven highly controversial since its introduction in FIFA's Laws of the Game in 2018, after years of calls for video to be used. Has it helped make football fairer or is it destroying the spectacle of the beautiful game?

No. It has made football worse Show more Show less

VAR has been a failure and should be scrapped
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Mistakes are part of the game

Sports are about what the very best humans can achieve. Sometimes humans get things wrong. Rather than using technology to fix these mistakes, we should embrace human error.
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Context

The Argument

Competitive sport is all about the human athletic spirit and the limits that the body can withstand, and unnecessary advancements in technology like VAR completely do away with that possibility of human error. We watch sports because humans are not perfect, and it makes it even more special to see humans achieve various feats of athletic skill and versatility. There are many determining factors that contribute to a referee's call, and some believe that the game should remain the same. WIRED reports, "By relying on video technology rather than the human biases of a ref, the game is slower and less emotional. It also gives an edge to the more powerful, wealthy teams over weaker, poorer teams."[1] Sports management expert Kjetil Haugen claims that people are drawn to sports because of the uncertainty of outcomes in games, and removing human error also removes that uncertainty.

Counter arguments

Human error is one of the essential aspects of the game that should be removed entirely. Yes, humanity is a fundamental part of the players, but referees should be unbiased and accurate all the time. VAR has even been proven to increase the accuracy of match-changing calls significantly, so why should a team win a game unfairly if they didn't even deserve it? The pure emotion of the game is neither removed nor lessened with VAR, and the undesirable emotions on the part of the refs are almost entirely taken out of the equation. Football should be based off of humanity, but not in match-altering decisions by the referees.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Humanity and human error is sports is an essential part of their appeal. [P2] VAR takes away the sometimes inaccurate calls from referees that can decide matches, which also removes the essential human error and bias that accompanies all of sports. [P3] VAR should not be used in football.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Human error and bias by the referees should always be discouraged, because a team should not be unfairly rewarded where they clearly did not deserve it. [Rejecting P3] VAR should be used in football to increase referee's accuracy while maintaining the human emotion of the game.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.wired.com/story/video-review-is-changing-soccer-and-no-one-seems-to-want-it/

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This page was last edited on Saturday, 20 Jun 2020 at 17:15 UTC