Elbow of Zambrano in Boca-Atletico Tucuman that the referee Espinoza and the VAR have omitted. Photo: Capture
VAR has changed the world football scene and Argentina is no exception. However, it is far from foolproof. After all, we must refer to the sentence that Angel Sánchez during the training that took place for reporters in the Ezeiza property. “Behind the technology is the man and the interpretation of him,” said the AFA representative in Korea-Japan in 2002.
And ultimately, this is happening in the Professional League and even in the Libertadores. Without going any further, there were two plays that still make noise and that occurred in the Libertadores quarter-finals: the alleged hand in the disallowed goal to Matías Suárez in River-Vélez and the disputed advanced position of Jorge Morel in Estudiantes-Athletic Paranaense. In both cases the referees of the field (Roberto Tobar and Andrés Matonte) did not coincide with the colleagues in the VOR cabin (Braulio Machado and Andrés Cunha).
How is it possible that two referees have such different criteria? This weekend there have been cases of testimony of this dichotomy suffered by fans and players. How is it possible that Fernando Espinoza and Jorge Baliño observed that Carlos Zambrano barely “supported” the elbow on Ignacio Maestro Puch’s face in the last game between Boca-Atlético Tucumán and 90% of the public opinion to the contrary? Why didn’t Pablo Echavarría take Federico Andueza’s obvious penalty against Franco Soldano in the Gimnasia-Sarmiento final and the VAR didn’t say “go on, go on”? And Emanuel Mammana’s hand in the Tigre River? Why wasn’t he punishable in the first place for Patricio Loustau and his colleague from Ezeiza?
All these questions left the last date very hot. And also, a great contradiction that borders on the leadership of Federico Beligoy. The Director of Referee Training assures Argentine refereeing is “at its best”, but every date its directors are tasked with denying it. And at the same time the people in the stands get angry about the delays in defining mistakes, the goals are shouted late or are suffocated, the footballers complain and the judges look the other way. We all await, even the journalists, the audio of the communication between the VOR booth and the judges of the court.
Why doesn’t the dialogue feel like in international tournaments, a measure that Conmebol has taken to explain the game situations?
“The idea was to start showing audio for this tournament, but I need a little more time because we just played 50 years without VAR and the dialogue between a player and a referee, between the referee and the assistant, has always developed so that what he said was not heardBeligoy pointed out. And he continued: “Today when I show an audio I have to work a lot on communication, which we are doing, both from the referee on the pitch and from the booth when speaking. Not only with respect, clarity and eloquence, but also with regulatory considerations ”.
A week ago there was a speech in Ezeiza focusing on shortening decision times. However, the subject of audios has been touched upon. Beyond the fact that Claudio Tapia’s ok is missing, referees use a more conversational than normative tone to talk to teammates. Ten days ago, at an Executive Committee meeting held at the AFA headquarters, Beligoy assured that the audio will be ready for next year. We will have to believe or burst.
Meanwhile, in this context of permanent controversy, what do the experts think? Héctor Baldassi, World Cup referee in South Africa 2010, says in the interview with Clarione: “The VAR has a protocol and it has steps, see the images, make considerations. If he sees a clear and obvious mistake, he will invite the table referee to watch the game. People who are in VAR need to feel safe, trust them, it’s a problem of adaptability. LThe tool is good, but if you get confused how to interpret it, it’s no longer a technological problem. I would have liked to direct with VAR. It would have helped me in my career and I would have used it to be fairer to the sport and the players. The bad management of the VAR leads you to not be able to justify anything afterwards ”.
“The VAR must look for the elephant and not an ant. But because one person runs it, the mistake will always be there, even if the problem is that no one drives and everyone plays their own music, “said Miguel Scime, former AFA Arbitration Director and teacher.
“Referees are increasingly dependent on VAR. There is practically no sanction or expulsion where the technology does not intervene. It is unacceptable for the referee to be insisted on changing his mind”Said Javier Castrilli, who led the World Cup in the United States in 1994.
“There is only one reality. The sports justice system is broken. The Central Barracks theme is one of the greatest examples, it all started in the Ascent and now continues in the First Division. The referees omitted such a fundamental fact as Zambrano’s penalty was not charged and everything was naturalized. If it had been the other way around, it would have been a scandal. The VAR is a poor device, a robot that is managed by the incompetent ”, says Guillermo Marconi, former referee in the 80s and 90s, secretary of the SADRA.
Nobody is happy with what’s happening with the VAR. Not even the referees. After all, they are very exposed. Because of his ineptitude, of course. Although they sometimes invite the general public to be ill-thought w