VAR is an important tool for football. That is the firm belief and conclusion of Roberto Rosetti of Italy at the Super Cup pre match press conference here in Turkey.
The Italian says “we have since noticed that there are now 13 countries using VAR in their leagues because this is a tool for football now. We must always accept though that the referee on the pitch is at the centre of the VAR decision making process. Always”.
As important as VAR is, Rosetti says the “VAR intervention can only be used when we have the images that can prove that there has been an obvious and clear mistake. VAR is not to intervene on anything controversial or subjective.”
The referees team played back the video of Manchester City’s effort in last season’s Champions League semi-final vs Tottenham Hotspurs. The VAR saw that before the ball got to Sergio Aguero, that Bernado Silva had deflected the ball therefore making the Argentine offside.
This video was played complete with the real time radio communication between the referee on the pitch and the VAR officials. “That VAR intervention allowed us to reach a decision that was correct and ensured the right result was reached” Rosetti said. The video plus audio showed that an official in the studio furiously informing the centre referee that there was the possibility of offside.
“The question for VAR is not what the best decision is but what is the correct decision when there has been an obvious mistake. The referee still has to make the final decision on the pitch”.
For subjective decisions “the referees have to go to the side of the pitch to check and make the final decision” Rosetti says for the avoidance of doubt”.
Calvin Emeka Onwuka in Istanbul