AFC Bournemouth experienced their first decision made by the Video Assistant Referee of the 2019/20 campaign on Saturday evening in the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona.
The Cherries were playing Spanish Segunda División outfit Girona when young defender Jack Simpson was sent off following a VAR review which saw his caution for a trip on Marc Gual upgraded to a red card.
AFC Bournemouth played the final 20 minutes with ten men and during that period, Girona scored two goals either side of Ryan Fraser’s second goal of pre-season to win the fixture.
The first half saw the Cherries line-up as follows.
Mark Travers, Adam Smith, Chris Mepham, Nathan Ake, Diego Rico, Gavin Kilkenny, Nnamdi Ofoborh, Dan Gosling, Alex Dobre, Dom Solanke and Callum Wilson played the first half.
Ten changes for the second half saw AFC Bournemouth look like this.
Artur Boruc, Jack Stacey, Nnamdi Ofoborh, Jack Simpson, Lloyd Kelly, Jordon Ibe, Andrew Surman, Mark Butcher, Ryan Fraser, David Brooks and Sam Surridge.
After long trials by both FIFA and UEFA in major international and club competitions, VAR makes its debut in the top flight of English football next season.
The use of VAR, particularly in this summers UEFA Nations League and FIFA Women’s World Cup has been controversial.
The Premier League apparently intend to take a more reserved approach to its use, however, focusing much more on the “clear and obvious” errors.
Discussing VAR, Interim Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told Sky Sports…
“We’re ready to go for next season and I think fans want to see those clear and obvious errors cleared up, but they also want to see the game moved on quickly.
“And so in the Premier League, you’re probably going to see the referees not use the referee review area – which is that camera to the side of the pitch – as often as you might see in other competitions…”
“…hopefully – a) it will work and it will clear up those decisions and b) it won’t interrupt the fast-flowing pace of the Premier League. Those are basically our two objectives.”
I honestly think this depends on people’s personality. Life isn’t fair, sports aren’t fair, VAR might marginally improve fairness but it won’t make it fair because so many decisions are marginal or subjective. All football fans have been on the rough side of decisions and they still will be with VAR.
Look at it the other way – the upshot of VAR is next time man city fans score a last-minute winner in a game with VAR their celebration will be half-assed because this experience will be in the back of their minds. Imagine Aguero’s winner against QPR stopped and reviewed for five minutes whilst everyone bites their nails. Not worth losing that euphoria for the sake of precise to-the-millimetre precision on offside decisions.
Just make a live decision and we can live with it – we’ve lived with it up until now. VAR adds nothing and takes key elements of the enjoyment away. – Join the conversation, click here.