VAR decisions ‘could be broadcast’ in game-changing A-League proposal

AUSTRALIAN soccer chiefs are lobbying for VAR decisions to be explained in stadiums and on broadcasts to prevent confusion over contentious calls. The head of the A-League, Greg O’Rourke, says Australia is pushing FIFA to permit the broadcast of the VAR decision-making process.

“FIFA protocols don’t allow currently the VAR to talk in-stadia or even to the commentators, it’s a bit of a silent movie,” O’Rourke told AAP on Wednesday. “Then what happens … is the fan is left to try and interpret why, they’re just left to their own devices.” The A-League was working with Germany’s Bundesliga and the United States’ MLS to push for communication of the VAR process in-stadia.

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“American sport and Australian sport have been used to, for many years, the referees being able to talk in-stadia,” O’Rourke said.

“The NRL have the bunker talking live to the crowd and stepping through their decision-making. They (fans) don’t have to agree with what the bunker guy is saying but at least they can understand his decision-making. “Our challenge is we’re in a global protocol. The NRL and AFL are in Australian protocols, they run the game and basically make all the rules themselves so they can be more agile.

“But I don’t want to give up on that sort of stuff … we’re lobbying the worldwide body to allow us to do these things.” O’Rourke also forecast a change in interpretation to VAR offside calls from this weekend in the A-League.

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Three of the six VAR interventions in the opening round were for offside decisions.

“The fan, I think, is telling us pretty loudly that if it’s too close to call, let it go,” O’Rourke said.

“We had a lot of debate over that in the last couple of days and I think what you will see is that (VAR) guys will say if it’s too close to call, they’re not going to spend a minute or 90 seconds trying to work out if the kneecap was in front of the shoulder.

“They’re just going to say that is too close to call and the advantage will go to the attacking side, which is the same theory as the assistant referees use on the field.

“We hope to roll out an improved interpretation from round two.”

Originally published as VAR decisions ‘could be broadcast’ in game-changing A-League proposal

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