VAR: The game-changer that will alter the fantasy football experience forever
Picture the scenario….
You’ve spent the better part of the week agonizing over which player to captain before finally plumping for Romelu Lukaku. The deadline passes and the contest has been progressing well but Manchester United are in action in the final match of the game round and by your calculations you know that a goal from the Belgium striker will be enough to see you topping your mini-league or taking home the bacon in your selected daily fantasy tournament.
It’s been a cagey affair and Burnley have been defending resolutely. In the 88th minute Lukaku latches onto a cross – he goes to celebrate in front of the Old Trafford faithful while you’re punching the air above your sofa!
But wait, what is this… the referee has paused, he’s looking confused and listening attentively. Something isn’t right…he now signals that he needs some help and heads over towards the touchline to consult a monitor.
Time seems to standstill – the goal is disallowed – you feel a pain – a pain you have never experienced before – welcome to the world of the VAR!
Yes, the use of VAR (Video Assistant Referees) could actually become a reality in the English Premier League and at this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia!
Pivotal trials taking in place in January
Video Assistance Refereeing technology will be used in Monday’s Emirates FA Cup third round tie between Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace as well as both legs of the Carabao Cup semi-final clashes between Arsenal and Chelsea.
The football community is certainly divided on whether it should be used at all and it is already courting controversy where it is being used on the continent, with Juve’s recent Coppa Italia victory over Torino among the most contentious.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes that the speed of the game in England is one of its greatest strengths and in a recent interview, captured by SkySports, he expresses his fears that it could ruin the game as we know it.
One of the key ‘D-Dates’ for the use of VAR will be January 22nd when officials from the International FA Board (Ifab) meet in Zürich to discuss its future usage. Although TheTimes reports that this will only be an ‘indicative decision’, a thumbs up will surely see it becoming a reality at the World Cup finals and in next season’s Premier League.
VAR will primarily be used to rule on goals, penalty/no penalty decisions and straight red cards as well as any cases of mistaken identity when it comes to cautioned players.
It’s a bit of shame that neither Graham ‘3 yellow cards‘ Poll nor the limelight seeking Mark Clattenburg are still officiating in England ‘s top flight but the use of VAR is sure to propel other referees into the spotlight.
It will add a whole new dimension to the ‘in-game’ fantasy football experience, with the frustration of missing out on projected bonus points paling into insignificance compared with actual fantasy points evaporating before your very eyes! Football matches will become longer and some fantasy football managers might not have the stomach for these interruptions.
The late Brian Clough once said that ‘it only takes a second to score a goal’ …. confirming it, however, is about to become a whole new ball game!
A storm is heading our way, so, let’s hear what the fantasy football community thinks about the introduction of VAR …..