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The Gnat's Eyebrow and other VAR stupidities
by Paul Gardner, June 26th, 2017 12:30AM
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TAGS:  fifa, referees

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By Paul Gardner

The trial of video-assistance for referees currently under way at the Confederations Cup in Russia cannot be said to have cleared anything up. There remains a good deal of confusion.

There is a fundamental confusion between a video-review, and sheer technology, as in goal-line technology. GLT does away with human judgment altogether -- the decision is made by super-accurate (we are told, and must therefore believe) computers. There is no arguing with technology. A position I shall look at shortly.

But video reviews are still totally conducted by humans. With replay technology to help them out, for sure, but the decisions are still those of humans, and must therefore be open to question.

This raises a huge question for soccer. Maybe not for all sports that use VARs -- I wouldn’t know the details for them -- but for soccer there is an immediate and serious problem.

To wit: in deciding whether fouls are committed or goals are scored, soccer already operates using a skewed system. It cannot be doubted that the sport, through its rules and its referee interpretations, makes it as difficult as possible to score goals. Nor can there be any doubt that referees persistently under-call rough play -- fouls are not called, penalty kicks are not given, yellow cards are issued instead of reds.

In Russia, there are three referees sitting in the VAR booth, making decisions based on video evidence, including, of course, replays. But those referees will all, to a greater or lesser extent, share the failings listed above (and I do consider them serious failings).

Therefore, the referee’s skewed viewpoint is likely to be confirmed by the VAR panel. So a faulty decision is now backed up with “scientific” authenticity, when what is really happening is that an error -- the skewed pro-defense viewpoint -- is being bolstered.

We saw exactly this happen in the Russia-Mexico game, when the referee refused to call a penalty for Russia, and was supported by the VAR panel. To this viewer, this was a pretty clear foul, and I’m left totally baffled by the decision.

Bafflement turned into bewilderment during the Chile-Australia game. Alexis Sanchez was flattened in the penalty area by a clumsy challenge from Australian defender Mark Milligan (who did not get to the ball). No call. No VAR review (those guys must have been asleep).

Eight minutes later, the decision not to red-card Tim Cahill bordered on the scandalous. The referee got it wildly wrong by giving only a yellow for Cahill’s jumping-in, studs up assault on Charles Aranguiz, and then got the backing of the VAR panel. One wonders, were they reluctant to change a referee’s decision? But their silence was exactly the sort of non-decision to get VAR panels a bad name.

If all the VAR guys do is to confirm rotten referee calls, then far from improving the game, they will be severely damaging it.

There is surely a case to be made for the VAR panel to intervene when they are certain that the referee has missed a serious foul. There was such an incident, during the Russia-Mexico game. It occurred as Hirving Lozano scored Mexico’s winning goal.

Lozano chased a long ball to the edge of the Russian penalty area. Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was also racing to meet the ball, but found himself outside his area; but instead of playing the ball with his head, he tried to kick it. Lozano got his head on the ball first -- the header that scored the goal. But Akinfeev, with his wildly high kick, succeeded only in kicking Lozano solidly in the chest, and knocking him down. Lozano was all smiles, he could see that his header was entering the net, and he jumped up immediately to celebrate.

I suppose referee Fahad al Mirdasi can be forgiven, in all the excitement that followed, plus the fact that Lozano showed no signs of being injured, for overlooking, or maybe not even noticing, the foul. 

But foul it was, a potentially dangerous one -- and it should have been called. It should have been noticed by the VAR panel. Why wasn’t it? There was plenty of time to inform the referee before play restarted. A foul that blatant, jumping into an opponent and solidly kicking him just below chin level while not making any contact with the ball is at least a yellow-card offense.

In short, the VAR panel, if it is to serve any useful purpose, must be as objective as possible. That rules out, obviously, favoring specific players or teams or coaches. But it must also rule out favoring defensive play, something that is far too widespread in today’s game. If any bias is to be evident in cases of doubt, that bias should favor the positive, creative side of the game -- the offense, not the defense.

There could hardly be a better example of the way in which VARs, plus technical assistance, can work in the wrong direction -- i.e. to promote negative soccer -- than what took place in the Chile-Cameroon game.

Chile scored what appeared to be a valid -- and very skillful -- goal in the closing minutes of the first half. Their fans cheered, the players celebrated, the score went up on the TV scoreboard, the TV commentators were in no doubt, they checked replays and said there was no offside.

But the VAR crew got involved, things were put on hold, then the referee signaled -- No goal. The Chile players, distraught, mobbed the referee, which they’re not supposed to do. But he, in turn, kept indicating his head set, evidently trying to explain that it was “him up there” who was making the decision.

More replays on TV showed a millimetric offside. A nose or a big toe, maybe. But it was definitely there. The goal was called back. A triumph for technology?  A step forward for soccer?

Not for me. Without the VAR intervention on this one, the goal would undoubtedly have been allowed. An excruciatingly close play, happening too quickly for humans to take in, would have left doubt -- and that doubt is now supposed to be resolved in favor of the attacking team. Hence, a goal.

But the VAR version, we must believe, can measure distances down to a gnat’s eyebrow and maybe even smaller. Boy, this is real, intricate, science, straight from the lab, so we must accept its conclusions and shut up.

There is also an element of hogwash involved. By now, we’ve all seen those marvelous images from GLT that show a ball apparently having crossed the goal line.  For sure all of it has. Not so, says GLT.  We can’t see it, but GLT’s sensitive instruments -- we are told -- show that 0.0001% of the ball is still not over the line. So no goal. 

The gnat’s eyebrow again. This is just plain damn silly. And presenting it as irrefutable science doesn’t make it any less silly.

Soccer has only itself to blame for this situation. Its own rules seem determined to make it absurdly difficult to score a goal. Contrast with football, where if any part of the ball is over the line, it’s a touchdown. Why does soccer have to adopt the negative option? Why is it so determined to squelch the moments that are always the highlights of any game, indeed are the highlights of the sport itself?

A thorough review of the rules and of referee interpretations, with the aim of eradicating all the negative, pro-defense bias, must be the essential preliminary before science is called in to right the things that are -- undoubtedly -- wrong in the sport.



39 comments
  1. Miguel Dedo
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 12:08 p.m.
    Paul Gardner raises THE key question, if the VAR is of the common mentality to undercall physical fouls, video replay will have no impact. If however a “reform-minded” review panel could after the match issue fines, suspensions, whatever, to players who got away with violence … . Of course, if the review panel were of the same mentality as the officials on the field … . Paul Gardner raises THE key question, if the VAR is of the common mentality to undercall physical fouls, video replay will have no impact. If however a “reform-minded” review panel could after the match issue fines, suspensions, whatever, to players who got away with violence … . Of course, if the review panel were of the same mentality as the officials on the field … . Video might help with overcalling of off-side. On close plays the AR can now keep her flag down, knowing that if the ball goes into the net and the scorer was in fact off-side, the VAR will have time in the stoppage after the “goal” to correct. If a goal is not scored, missing the off-side call is a minor matter – relative to having stopped play when the potential scorer was not off-side.
  1. Brian McLindsay
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 12:34 p.m.
    Paul, you have shown your bias and compulsive mindset in favor of offensive play. I have a similar bias toward the defensive side of the game. The ball didn't cross the line by .0001%, it is NOT a goal period. It is a more legitimate argument to say any part of the ball crossing the line should be a goal (which might be alright), but you will still have the same problem on the other end of the ball. If the ball 8.65 inches in diameter is 1/10,000th of an inch short of the goal line, it is NOT a goal. You cannot just arbitrarily decide it is close enough, so give a goal to the offense when the technology has the ability to tell you it didn't touch the goal line. If you could, then maybe 3 inches or 5 inches is close enough depending on which team you want to have goals or how often a sports writer wants to type out about a great (almost) goal. As an engineer I can tell you the accuracy you have little faith in, is in fact much better than any eye-balling can possible be with a still frame let alone on a moving video replay. Now as for the VAR calls, the process can and should be cleaned up. I too thought Igor Akinfeev should have been carded and would have handed him a straight red since it was a physically dangerous play and an error a professional soccer player should not make.
  1. Gonzalo Munevar
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 12:58 p.m.
    Attacking player makes games exciting. Two teams playing defense make for a boring game. The mindset of referees should favor what makes the game exciting, and safe. Paul's article gets to the heart of the matter concerning this new technology.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 1:12 p.m.
    Great, let's just award goals for everything regardless of the rules. Exciting!!!
  1. Brian McLindsay
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 2:09 p.m.
    My thought is the game should be called straight up not biased for the offense or defense. The game would not be the game if the scores end up 18 to 15, defense is a critical part of the game as is offense. If you want more scoring, remove the goal keeper or double the width of the goal. Or maybe we should prefer a game where you can only have 1 player in the back line, then you will see a lot of offense play and it couldn't be a boring game? Obviously I am pulling your chain a little, but the point stands, the game requires a robust defense if it is to be an exciting game, otherwise we can just line everyone up and kick goals for 90 minutes. You would not have an exciting offensive attack without having a good defense fighting to stop it. As the saying goes,it is two sides of the same coin.
  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 1:29 p.m.
    Holy smokes and golly-gee willikers, PG/batman, you raise some "good points" yet, you once again show your biases, aptly mentioned in the above comments. Say, I call your attention to last night's "60 Minutes" (ABC) Episode on AIT - Artificial Human Intelligence) and how this is going to become part of our lives, well, while watching it I immediately thought of the VAR, and... how VAR is already used in the NBA, NFL, MLB, and now will be used in the MLS for the remainder of the season. POINT: Is that while GLT was/is used in some European Cup play, the VAR is bound to find its way into el jogo bonito, and yes, I thought that Akinfeev of the Russian side ought to have been given at least a yellow and definitely a red; though the LOT calls for a red and ejection on a similar foul, however, since the ball went into goal, the Ref felt he was justified to allow the goal, now, should Lozano had stayed down and rolled in gawd-awful agony, and the ball still went into goal, then I betcha the ref would've whipped out his red card. Yet, I don't recall hearing Dr. Joe Machniks' assessment/evaluation of what not only the VAR caught and the Ref's decision to allow to play on. Meybe he felt sorry for the Russian GK? Any how, PLAY ON-VAR or no VAR!!!
  1. Ed M
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 2:39 p.m.
    One failure that this author continues to show is a lack of understanding of the game and what the rules set forth by FIFA for VAR are. Writing another article to stir up readers and continue a myth of what is and isn't may seem fair and fun but it only proves that you can write anything and appear an expert. The VAR is not in place to make any call or to tell the Referee that a foul or card was missed. The Referee, and rightfully so, has total control of what is decided in each match. The other officials appointed, even the VAR, are assistants. They are not called Insistants. There are limited actions that can be reviewed and of those actions, if the Referee does not accept the help offered in those limited actions there is no review. Period. Keeping the human factor involved in each match makes it more fun and exciting instead of creating another boring sport such as the others with video replay. We have highly trained Referees, some may be better than others, who can make very good decisions. The group is all inclusive, meaning that all Confederations are represented. This is a world game and it will produce some combinations of Referees and teams that are not ideal but it is still an all inclusive world game.
  1. Wooden Ships
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 8:10 a.m.
    Agreed Ed.
  1. John Soares
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 3:24 p.m.
    Good comments....at the end we are exactly where we started. No agreement, but certainly MORE disagreement. So let's go back one additional step. Put VAR away. Call it a nice try and play on, with human mistakes and all:)
  1. Wooden Ships
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.
    Absolutely John. Technology and the quest for sport justice is a ruse. The techno/new age people are ruining this sport.
  1. Jay Wilson
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 3:28 p.m.
    It actually doesn't matter what the VAR officials decision is - the final arbiter is the referee on the field. He has the power to completely ignore the findings of the VAR system and officials. In fact, with the exception of an obviously incorrect decision or egregious behavior, only the on-field referee can implement the VAR process, as opposed to say Major League Baseball or NFL Football where coaches can challenge an on-field decision. Also, VAR officials can only watch replays in "real time" as opposed to slo-motion. A far less expensive and perhaps even more efficient system might be to just add a second on-field referee that would ensure that no official would be so far from a play that his decision would be afforded more veracity. Plus, studies have shown that when you're running at full-speed (as the lone referee is now when chasing a ball played long from one end of the field to the other) you are legally blind.
  1. Bob Ashpole
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 3:58 p.m.
    Agree Jay. The value of the VAR is the extended vision of the officiating crew. VAR does not, nor should not, alter the authority of the Referee.
  1. John Soares
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 3:46 p.m.
    If it is the field ref that has the FINAL decision. What is the point of VAR? But what ref is going to override the VAR decision!?
  1. Joe Linzner
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 3:54 p.m.
    There are several reasons why VAR is detrimental to the game. Stopping the action is one of them. It interferes with the ebb and flow of the game and has been seen is not as effective as it was imagined to be. In my opinion, there is a way it can be used. I imagine a crew reviewing the game in its entirety and using the video as a sort of report card. Judging the performance of referees and players alike and issuing ratings. In other words a report card for all involved. Consistent infringement, harsh fouling etc as well as diving can thus be addressed via fines and retroactive carding! A referee's calling, bias non-compliance with Asst. Refs can also be rated and either rewarded or dealt with commensurately. If everyone realizes that they are being observed I also feel that the game will tend to clean up. That way everyone will be under review and will tend to keep scofflaws under control. Just my humble opinion!
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 10:16 p.m.
    I agree with Joe L. And until FIFA returns to sanity by having officials on the pitch do their job by enforcing LOTG, VAR or anything else is not going to help the game. They brought in the 4th official, and what are his defined responsibilities. The ARs won't or don't assist the referee unless the latter beckons, and that rarely happens. And what about the professional fouls (on and off the ball)? Any sensible coach will employ physicality to the limit when officials swallow their whistles.
  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 26, 2017 at 11:07 p.m.
    I w: "Any sensible coach will employ physicality to the limit when officials swallow their whistles....(sic)" What are you kidding me? A coach worth his/her weight in salt will coach responsibly, and any one of them who does not doesn't have a damned right, rhyme or reason to be on the field leading his/her team. Tell us I w, have you ever officiated or even coached any team at any level? That the "ARs won't or don't assist the referee..." and "that rarely happens..." and finally since when any foul on and off the ball ever become a "professional foul???" Will VAR help or hinder? Did the old and tried 35 yard off-side line ever help the game? Did the two-"man" officiating crew ever help or hinder? IMHO, since the gurus at US Soccer and MLS have agreed to have VAR be part of the remaining MLS season, have cast the VAR stone, I say my friend, give it a go. So, PLAY ON, I say!!!
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 9:56 a.m.
    Guys, as far as I'm concerned get rid of this garbage and just allow the game as it is with all its warts, and human mistakes and foibles as it has been played for over a hundred years. It just makes for more excitement talk, discussions in pubs, debates about who was better and should have won, discussions about a particular play , a foul, or goal that should or shouldn't have been called, wanting to get revenge the next time due to some is a bad call.... That is what makes soccer so exciting. Remember that goal in the WC'66 England vs Germany ,was it on the line or was it a goal, is still being talked about ...that's what brings life to the game. But some want to get rid of the human element was played by humans. No matter how many videos and refs you add there alway be calls that will be controversial, so just leave soccer the way it is.. In the end things balance out in the long run
  1. Wooden Ships
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 10:31 a.m.
    Damn straight Frank.
  1. David Mont
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 1:13 p.m.
    "But some want to get rid of the human element was played by humans." I really don't get it. No one is getting rid of the human element, the game is still played by humans. Players' mistakes are part of the game. Officiating errors are not. That's why there are rules. Why anyone would object to minimizing officiating errors is beyond me. The fact that we still talk about that goal in the WC'66 is not necessarily a good thing. It would've been much better if we had known for sure if the goal was good and stopped talking about it decades ago. Refereeing errors do not make the game more exciting.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 1:51 p.m.
    David, There is more going on in soccer which makes the game sometimes frustrating for some and glorious for others which goes beyond just the score or catching the mistakes. I prefer leaving in the human element , an human uncontrollable element in the game, which has always been a part of the game, which can be exiting and frustrating. To say ,"that we still talk about that goal in the WC'66 is not necessarily a good thing, sums it up. "IS NOT NECESSARILY A GOOD THING" really says it all for I can't explain it to you beyond that . I don't know how old you are but that game put soccer on the map in the US, for it drew so much excitement and emotion. I still remember this game, but like I said it is not the game, but the unexpected human element that one can't prepare for makes the game so exciting. It is not necessarily a good thing to have debates and pubs about this WC goal...that's what makes it fun, lively, talking to people (humans) who have different opinions, biases on the goal , the human contact ,all of which is also part of the game. I would prefer to keep the robotics out of the game..Who knows maybe later on we rid can rid of all mistakes, refs, and allow a programmed computer to run the games, judge the fouls ,goals, offsides...sounds exciting, can't wait
  1. Zabivaka Sobaka
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 8:31 p.m.
    This is your best TIP Frank.
  1. Joe Linzner
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 1:05 p.m.
    I still say, that using VAR as a report card will clean it up! All players and referees are advised and everyone is subject to review. Issued fines and perhaps stricter penalties will definitely show a difference....
  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 10:15 p.m.
    Agreed! The ARV individuals provide the most accurate star-of1rh ae
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 3:53 p.m.
    TIP 46. WHENEVER YOU OUTNUMBER THE OPPONENT ,FOR EXAMPLE, 3V1 OR 4V2, THE PASS SHOULD BE GIVEN FAST AND NOT SLOW. A SLOW PASS GIVES THE OPPONENT AN EXTRA MAN ,SO TO SPEAK, FOR HE IS ABLE TO MARK TWO PLAYERS THUS REDUCING THE ATTACKING ADVANTAGE. THE ATTACKING SIDE OFTEN LETS IT GUARD DOWN AND RELAXES FOR THEY FEEL MORE SECURE WITH AN EXTRA MAN OR TWO BUT IN FACT THIS ACTION CAN ONLY HELP THE WEAKER TEAM
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 3:54 p.m.
    TIP 47. A LONG PASS THAT IS OF HIGH QUALITY IS ONE THAT IS MADE TO AN ATTACKER ON THE RUN WITH THE BALL GOING BEHIND THE DEFENDER. A LONG PASS TO THE ATTACKER STANDING STILL WAITING FOR IT IS NOT ALL THAT FUNCTIONAL
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 3:54 p.m.
    TIP 48. WHEN A WING CROSSES THE BALL ON THE RUN, AT THAT MOMENT YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF TWO ASPECTS. ONE, WHO GOING TO NEAR , FAR AND IN FRONT OF THE GOAL. TWO, WHO IS MAKING THE RUNS FROM MIDFIELD FOR SECONDARY BALLS..
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 3:55 p.m.
    TIP 49. PRESSURING THE OPPONENT REALLY MEANS HOW CAN A TEAM CREATE PRESSURE CAUSING A SECONDARY BALL SITUATION , IN OTHER WORDS FORCING THEM TO MAKE A BAD PASS..
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 3:55 p.m.
    TIP 50. TACTICS IS NOTHING OTHER THAN FINDING THE WEAKNESS(S) OF THE OPPONENT AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IT. FOR EXAMPLE ,IF YOUR OPPONENT ON AVERAGE HAS OLDER MIDFIELDERS THEREBY PERHAPS A LITTLE SLOWER , AND IF THE GAME IS PLAYED LATE AFTERNOON THAN FIND OUT IF THE FIELD YOU PLAY ON HAS DEW SETTLING ON IT DURING THAT TIME OF DAY , MAKING THE BALL ROLL FASTER. IT IS THE LITTLE DETAILS THAT CAN EFFECT THE GAME. THIS IS WHY AJAX ,A FAST PASSING TEAM SPRAYS THE FIELD BEFORE THE GAME...
  1. Zabivaka Sobaka
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 8:28 p.m.
    Not before too long we will have commercials in the middle of the game. Stop this nonsense. Stop Garberage
  1. Wooden Ships
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 9:56 p.m.
    I'm afraid its to late and its not just Garber. For years we ( the US ) have been tinkering with anything we can get our hands on. For Gods sake we can't even get the clock in the right direction in high school and college. The indoor game was an attemp to woo new comers to the sport and it was so bastardized it was pitiful and effected (stunted) our technical development. Our arrogance to put our stamp on the game today is in the form of technology and this tactic might just work. If we can't play the game with the rest of the world will stop it and review it. We just can't accept that we didn't invent the game and at best so far we are average at it.
  1. Zabivaka Sobaka
    commented on: June 27, 2017 at 11 p.m.
    Well said Wood!
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: June 28, 2017 at 8:09 a.m.
    SHIPS, The impetus is coming from Europe, we follow them that is why all the talk about the video. You know what innovation that I did like the Americans brought into the game was the shootout employed in the NASL to break ties. For example in the WC, instead of playing extra 30min for a tiebreaker which to me is no longer soccer for the players are too tired, use the old NASL shootout. Each team is allowed 7 tries. The shootout itself is an excellent combination of display of thinking , technique,skill and tactics in beating the goalie. It takes a lot more of everything in trying to beat the goalie than just shooting penalties..
  1. Zabivaka Sobaka
    commented on: June 28, 2017 at 9:18 p.m.
    Frank, I hope you are being sarcastic....
  1. Kent James
    commented on: June 28, 2017 at 9:49 a.m.
    Sorry, I disagree with all those who think the VAR will end soccer as we know it. Essentially, it adds a slight delay (at a point where the game has already been interrupted, e.g., when a goal is scored) so that the referee can see more, and make a more accurate decision. That's it. And the games I've seen, the VAR helped the officiating crew get the call right. The same refs are using their judgment to make the calls, they can now just see better. I have no nostalgia for the "human" element if that is a euphemism for errors. And yes, I refereed for many years, and, as a ref, if I made a bad call that technology could correct, I'd always prefer to use technology to get the call right.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: June 28, 2017 at 10:09 a.m.
    KENT, I can just imagine a hotly contested game with tons of fouls and the stoppages. I hope they will have cheerleaders and marching bands to take up the time wastage for backup, just in case. The PROBLEM is it will not end THERE, they'll keep adding other things.. First they had added extra refs behind the goals, now it's VAR and I'm sure we won't stop there....
  1. Kent James
    commented on: June 30, 2017 at 11:22 a.m.
    Frank, isn't it worth a 30 second delay to get a PK or red card right? VAR is not reviewing every decision (and as it is now, the CR is the only one who decides to use it, so if h'es sure of his call, no need for it. If he's unsure, he gets a better look, and the opportunity (though no guarantee)to get it right. Seems like a major improvement at a minor cost.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: June 30, 2017 at 12:40 p.m.
    Kent, it is not worth it to me, for you are already bringing in the element of delays as a first step for I know this won't end....We have a referee and he is not infallible and as long we accept him as being the final arbiter with his infallibility then there shouldn't be a problem, when something controversial occurs. We've had the "Hand of God" and many other decisions that have fallen into gray areas from the beginning of soccer and the sports has grown in popularity by leaps and bounds.... The only reason we need to use the VAR would be to see or catch if someone did something nasty and receive the appropriate punishment..
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: June 29, 2017 at 7:14 a.m.
    When I coached kids if they tried to cross at the goal line and the ball went over the end line they would just stop. I told them just take the cross let the official make the call out or in not you. But we also taught them how to do it without the ball going off the field. It went off the field if the ball was on their right shoulder when trying to cross to the left side. I told them Zidane could still do it, but not them yet.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: June 29, 2017 at 7:44 a.m.
    Our game is a physical game people here mistakenly think it is not. The goal is to make a physical game still look beautiful when it is played right. We had some very good under 19 teams. But we had them play against our adult team so they could get used to the more physical game of the adult game. They would hesitate waiting for fouls to be call then they would get caught on play on calls by the officials. You can't have a lot of stoppages to check if it was a foul or not. So no more quick restarts allowed any more? In practice we practiced quick restarts. To make it interesting we would count quick restart goals count as two goals. Is that going to end with VAR. if so maybe VAR should end likethe VCR :)

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