Estranged former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter has made a passionate appeal to the International Football Association Board not to make the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology operational at this year’s FIFA World Cup in June.
This comes barely a day after the system faced sharp criticism during the controversial match pitting Tottenham Hotspurs and Rochdale in the FA Cup. In that match, a goal was ruled out; a penalty awarded and later overturned all under a frustrating spell for the fans who braved the cold weather.
IFAB is expected to convene and make an announcement on VAR’s future on Saturday. If the laws are changed to incorporate the technology during matches, then the new wave could shake up not only the sport but also the conventional ways of officiating.
Blatter, 81, took to social media to express his opinion on the matter even as current FIFA President Gianni Infantino is in support of the VAR technology to be used in Russia during the World Cup. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin already announced that it will not be used in next season’s Champions League.
The events that unfolded during the Spurs match has drawn criticism from a section of fans who believe that the purest form of football will be destroyed if the system becomes fully functional in matches. Below is a sample of their reaction to VAR.