war over var

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 Jun 2018 12:33:17

BARELY into the third day of the World Cup-2018 in Russia, controversies have begun to make their appearance on the scene. The one that will remain in discussion through the duration of the current World Soccer Cup tournament would be the technology-driven umpiring decision-making, called VAR (Video Assistant Referring). Title hopefuls France got their first goal through the VAR Saturday, as France was awarded penalty through the Video review, overturning the decision of the field umpire. While France were happy that technology had made their day, the Australians were unhappy that the field umpire did not remain firm on his initial decision of not awarding penalty after a hard tackle of a French player in the box. 

As the high profile tournament progresses and organisers take resort to technology for arriving at correct umpiring decisions more and more, there would be many more jubiliations, on the beneficiary sides, and heartburns on the losing sides. That certainly is going to add some spice into the high voltage tournament and fans the world over would have their own share of joys and sorrows. But these are not peculiar to soccer alone. In many sports events in which technology is being used for a long time for correcting umpiring decisions, there is no dearth of skeptics, who are not tired of questioning the veracity of technology as a tool for umpiring.


Lately many apex world sports organisations have opted for using technology for correcting umpiring errors which has led to change in the course of matches and even the whole of tournaments. The idea behind using technology is that the field umpire is not a position to take a correct view of the situation in a split second and being human there is every possibility of his making wrong judgement on occasions. Besides there is also the pressure of the thousands of spectators present at the ground and also that of the players of the two sides. Sports bodies all over the world are convinced that technology will take care of all these issues and relieve the field umpire of the burden and manage the game in an orderly manner.


In cricket, very recently the International Cricket Council (ICC) had sought to introduce technology for reviewing umpiring decisions. However, countries like India thought that technology was not perfect and hence had doubts about the efficacy of the technological review system. But by and by countries have begun to accept the innovations being introduced by the apex international body. Even in international tennis and badminton technology has begun to be used. In spite of skepticism, technology is going to play a significant role in sports arena as well. That will add fairness to the spirit of sports.