Why VAR is Ruining Football

Ella Valentine
2 min readJun 22, 2018


We have to figure one thing out before getting into the biggest argument of The World Cup 2018: is VAR helping or ruining the games? Let’s paraphrase this question: what matters to us more - the success rate of the decisions made during the game or THE GAME ITSELF?

Iran’s players celebrating their goal against Spain, which was disallowed after reviewing VAR.

According to IFAB research, from 1,000 matches the referee accuracy without VAR stood at 93 percent, and it rose to 99 percent with video assistance. These results sound pretty good on paper, and frankly they can be tempting. Of course we don’t want our team to lose unfairly, of course we want a penalty given for our team when we believe there clearly is one, of course we want the referee to get it right every time, but what is the cost we have to pay for all that accuracy?

A constant interruption of the game, losing the pace of one of the most dynamic sports in the world, and losing the magic of football. And the thing is, even if we get on board with sacrificing the interrupted time in the name of getting it right, in spite of all of the numerous penalties given at this summer’s competition, all the waiting around to watch screens and wait around for a decision, there were still debatable situations that were left unpenalized or mistreated.

Iran’s players find out that their goal has been disallowed due to an arguable offside.

We can go on analysing the pros and cons from all the matches so far but let us not forget the most important thing that makes our favorite game as special as it is and let’s stand our ground and not let it be taken away — its spontaneity.

How many times have we seen our team lose unfairly because of an offside goal or a wrongfully given penalty, and how many times has it been the other way around? It happens and we move on. We cry, we laugh, we swear. This is what this sport is about and I’d take it any day without 100% of accuracy, but with a heart.