Could Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology be the answer to this problem?
VAR technology was approved for use by the IAFB in June 2016 and can be used to review contentious decisions, including goals, penalty incidents, offside verdicts, and red card offenses. The referee can change a decision relating to an on-field incident on the advice of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR); the VAR is located in a ‘video operation’ room with multiple angle monitors to review, uphold or overturn decisions. There are strict protocols and procedures that both referee and the VAR must adhere to when reviewing footage, for example, about utilizing slow motion and normal speed action replays to make judgments. If the VAR official highlights an evidently erroneous decision, the referee can still disregard this. The final ruling always lies with the referee.
In the initial trial game in The Major Soccer League (MLS), the referee reviewed two fouls, resulting in a red and yellow card. VAR was then used on a wider stage during the 2016 World Cup Qualifiers; improved technology and the introduction of a “pitchside monitor” enabled referees to review footage on the touchline. Perhaps the most significant test for VAR was in a recent International game when France faced Spain. Antoine Griezmann had headed into the goal, but after consultation with the VAR official, the referee ruled offside. In the same game, a Gerard Deulofeu goal was also allowed to stand. Without VAR, this game would have finished in a 1-1 draw; instead, Spain won 2-0. This is why the introduction of VAR technology is so significant- to help make important judgment calls. Many offside and goal decisions are problematic or challenging for referees and assistant referees. They may not be in the right position, players may be blocking their view (by accident or on purpose), or the action may just have taken place too quickly.