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16th Apr 2018

Bundesliga match produces outrageously farcical VAR moment


Robert Redmond

It’s going to take some time to get used to the Video Assistant Referee system.

This season, VAR has been used in the cup competitions in England, in the Bundesliga and Serie A and is set to be used at the World Cup this summer. However, as with any new technology, there have been some problems starting off.

The video referee is meant to aid the match referee when the original decision was a “clear and obvious error” and to help decisions regarding:

  • Goals and to help determine if there was a violation during the buildup.
  • Penalty decisions.
  • Red card decisions.
  • And mistaken identity in awarding a red or yellow card

It seems pretty straightforward in principle, but in practice, it has yet to go smoothly. Supporters in the stadium have been left confused when the referee has had to consult the video ref, and some decisions have taken quite a few minutes. The Premier League opted against implementing VAR next season and judging by the incident in the Bundesliga on Monday night, they probably made the right decision to delay using the technology.

There were farcical scenes at half-time of the match between Mainz and Freiburg. The game was goalless when the referee blew the full-time whistle and the players made their way to the dressing rooms. However, they were called back onto the pitch as the ref consulted with the video referee and a penalty was awarded.

Pablo De Blasis scored the penalty for Mainz and the players went off the pitch again. Mainz went on to win the match 2-0 and critics of VAR have more ammunition to take aim at the controversial system.

You can watch the full incident here.