VAR reviewing a penalty during the English Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates stadium. (AP Photo/Leila Coker)
VAR reviewing a penalty during the English Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates stadium. (AP Photo/Leila Coker)

Sport need to wipe hands of video technology

I'M NOT one to referee bash these days, but I used to and it got me nowhere. I've learned to accept they make mistakes.

Their job is one of the toughest in sport, tackling split-second, on-the-spot decisions that can swing a game.

Sport is played at a blinding speed and should be reffed that way.

But this endless pursuit of perfection in officiating has the potential to ruin sport.

My two favourite sports, football (the round ball game) and rugby league, have survived for more than 100 years with minimal technology used in officiating.

Yet I find myself continually infuriated by technology brought in only years ago.

I can only think of one use of video technology where it truly works - tennis and the hawkeye system. But that is made on black and white calls only, where the ball is in or out, there is no margin for misinterpretation or error.

But video assisted refereeing (VAR) is a blight on football.

It's a complete farce and I can't stand it.

You watch football for the goals. When the ball hits the back of the net, as a player and fan, it's a feeling of unrivalled exhilaration.

Now, the very next thought is, 'Will it count?'.

Fans in stadiums celebrate with trepidation too, fearing the dreaded VAR will step in and rule it out.

The same fans celebrate even harder when a goal scored against them is ruled out.

In the weekend's Premier League fixtures just gone, I can think of half a dozen moments VAR stepped in, and not once did it improve the contest.

In rugby league, the bunker has been under fire since its inception a few years back. The game is slowed down to micro seconds and picked apart.

It hasn't helped the game, only hindered it. Fans are forced to wait, sometimes minutes, for the clowns in the bunker's latest clanger.

In both sports I mention, it's made onfield referees poorer too, as they have the comfort of the video to influence their decisions.

But it robs them of the confidence they once had to make the calls. It's made them timid.

The technology was brought it to get rid of the clangers, now it's being used to for perfect refereeing.

But sport is played by humans, and it should be refereed by humans.