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The Claw

The student news site of Northland Christian School

The Claw

The student news site of Northland Christian School

The Claw

The history of VAR

How this could have changed soccer history
Referee looking at the VAR monitor

VAR also known as Virtual Assistant Referee has caused a lot of controversy in past years. In 2018, VAR was introduced onto the big stage at the 2018 Russia World Cup. Before VAR, it was simpler, the referee would make a decision and play would resume. You might be asking, how does it work? Well they’re a team of referees in a room, and they watch to see if there is any decisions the on-field referees might’ve missed. If they find something, the tell the on-field ref via a microphone to look at VAR screen (replay).

Off-field referees reviewing a play for the on-field referee to maybe check (

The first example of how VAR could’ve changed soccer history, we have to go back to 2009. When Chelsea were up against Barcelona in Champions League semifinal game. The referee in that game made some very favorable decisions toward Barca in that game. Chelsea claiming that there were many handballs and obvious fouls during the game. Barcelona would eventually get the winner in this match; they would advance to Champions League Final. If VAR was around for this game, the refs decisions would have been overturned, meaning Chelsea would’ve had more goals and they would advanced to the final. Chelsea players were not very happy with the decisions and made it known to the ref. Chelsea striker Didier Drogba made his frustrations very known, by cursing out the referee on live TV. The referee admitting later, that he could’ve made better decisions on that night in London. The ref says he got many threats from angered Chelsea fans, which is not ok.

Referee being abused by angry Chelsea players (

Another famous example in football, we go way back to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. Diego Maradona’s infamous hand of god, was a very controversial goal. After an England defender lifts the ball in the air, Diego jumps up in the air and hits the ball into the goal with his hand. The England players try to appeal for a handball, but the referee does not budge. If there was VAR, the goal would have definitely got overturned. That would mean that Argentina might’ve not advanced and they might’ve not won the World Cup. If Argentina didn’t win the World Cup that year, that would’ve changed football history a lot.

Maradona’s “hand of god” (the

Opinions on VAR are mixed, a 9th grader at Northland says VAR is not great at times, but if it wasn’t there, there would be is much bad decisions. He thinks it is there for the best. An 11th grader went more in depth about it, He says VAR should have more angles. He used the recent Chelsea vs Spurs match as an example, there was a play where the ball was on/off the line and we didn’t have the cameras to make sure we made the right decision. He said we should have more cameras for VAR.

VAR its has ups and downs, but without VAR there would be a lot more decisions gone wrong. VAR is in Soccer to make the game better for all.

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About the Contributor
Isaac Banos
Isaac Banos, Writer
Hi, I'm Isaac Banos, I was born in Houston. I started going to Northland when I was little, but after 3rd grade, I moved to Chicago. I came back in 7th grade. I love to play Soccer as well. Currently I am in 9th Grade at NCS, I also currently play soccer in MLS Next for Houston Rangers. I am doing Cross Country and soccer at Northland, and maybe Track. I also recently just came off playing in USYS National Championships, which my old team placed top 3 in the Nation. I hope to become a professional Soccer Player. If I don't become a Pro, I would like to be a sports journalist hence why I am taking Journalism in High school. I hope to Graduate at Northland Christian in 2027.

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