World Cup insanity, Fifa take our suggestion (only a bit late) and no VAR in England


By Tony Attwood

English football is once more going its own way.  While most of the mainstream of football in Europe adopts VAR, we don’t.  While most of the mainstream of football in Europe puts as much distance between itself and the model of refereeing that led to the Calciopoli scandal, English football adopts it as its modus operandi.

Fewer referees, total secrecy, no questions asked, close control kept on the media by licensing the right to publish fixtures, allowance of older referees, palpably untrue claims about having the fittest referees in the world, unbelievable accuracy rates for referee decision making… and of course no VAR.

And without any real opposition to the way things are going, it will continue this way.  Even the opposition to the present system by this one site comes under constant attack, misrepresented as if it were some sort of conspiracy theory, rather than a statement of fact: when it comes to referees, England goes its own way and allows the running of the system by a secret society.

Of course that means no English refs at the world cup, and given that our refs won’t have any experience of VAR in their own league, that will probably continue for a while.

Not that the world cup is that wonderful.  As a German paper states today, “A gold miner roams the world’s football, a decided desperado: Gianni Infantino.”

The cause of their concern is that at Fifa’s board meeting (safely held in Columbia*, away from the prying arrest warrants of the FBI), Infantino told the board that a $25 billion offer had been received for the TV rights to an enlarged world cup.  Of course he can’t name the consortium that wants to pay but he does want to expand the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams. With 80 instead of 64 games.  Hence the $$$$$$$ .

80 World Cup games in November and December 2022 in a desert state.  It’s no more bizarre than the rest of what Fifa gets away with, with investors in Saudi Arabia and China waving their money at Infantino anxious to be part of the show.

In fact before Christmas, Infantino was in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia’s 82-year-old King on discussing ways of “improving football” and “fields of cooperation between Fifa and Supreme Sports Authority GSA in Saudi Arabia.”

And why Saudi Arabia?  Oh because in January this year it allowed women into special “family sections” of selected football stadia to watch matches.  And they have lots of oil and hence money.

Of course Infantino doesn’t have it all his own way.  In Europe and Asia, he is being watched like a hawk with everyone (well, ok, not by the FA in England, most other organisations) and some are getting more and more suspicious.

And meanwhile we will not have VAR in the PL, as noted above – despite the claims a couple of years back from PGMO that they were ahead of the game when it came to VAR.   At once the PGMO following media instantly came out in supportive mode, the Guardian for example telling us that “VAR is another slap in the face for the long-suffering paying spectator.”

Shall I say that again? Yes I shall.

It is not the vagaries of referee decision making that is the slap in the face for the long-suffering paying spectator.

No not at all.

VAR is another slap in the face for the long-suffering paying spectator.”

Where do they get these journalists from?

Ludicrously the English media has been briefed to proclaim that the reason we don’t like VAR is because there is a “lack of communication in the decision-making process”, as if at the moment we had any communication between the referee and the fans.  A wave of the hand when we are lucky, nothing more.  The Guardian report says, “Supporters have been left bewildered while games have been stopped,” forgetting just how bewildered we are at many games by what referees do and don’t do.

So now the excuses emerge.  “VAR was supposed to be applied only in the event of a “clear error” by the referee.”  No, that’s not right.  It was meant to be called upon when the referee needed extra information.

Thus VAR will be used in the World Cup, La Liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A.  But not the very superior and we known best Premier League.”Every big game this season has been decided by mistakes that could have been avoided with VAR,” said Mr Wenger, and he’s damn right.

But of course it is just those silly foreigners with their little boxes.  Why can’t they play the game as it was meant to be played?  An old brown ball and two village teams knocking the shit out of each other until one village is burned to the ground.  That’s the way we like it.

*Before the raids on Fifa HQ in Switzerland Untold did point out the change in Swiss law which would allow American agents to arrest Fifa executives, and suggested that Fifa might want to start holding meetings in South America.  In writing that I didn’t expect them to make me seriously – and of course they didn’t for their next meeting – where the arrests took place.  But now it is something of a world tour – except it only includes those parts of the world where there is no extradition warrant.

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21 Replies to “World Cup insanity, Fifa take our suggestion (only a bit late) and no VAR in England”

  1. There almost certainly WILL be VAR, but not next season as was originally planned. As yourself & The Guardian have noted it’s far from perfect, and requires another season’s trialing.
    We’ve been without it since the beginnings of football, what difference will one more season make?
    Makes sense to me.

  2. The sooner the better makes sense. The next season is sooner than the one after it, don’t you know.

  3. And yet UEFA will not yet adopt VAR in any of its competitions as it is felt that far more testing has to take place.
    VAR is not being introduced in the PL for season 2018/19 because the clubs , and that included Arsenal voted against it.
    It’s been well debated that there won’t be any English refs at the WC but the comment about not having experience of VAR is strange in that by my recogning at the next WC only 4 or 5 of the 36 refs who will officiate have any experience of officiating in competitive league games where VAR is used . Come the 2022 WC the system will almost certainly be in place in English football almost certainly due to its cost the vast vast majority of leagues from which refeees are drawn will not , save the odd game, have VAR to fallback on.Lets face it despite its proven reliability only a few leagues in World football can afford goal line technology

  4. Mike – are you sure Arsenal voted against. Mr Wenger said he was bitterly disappointed with the vote. Did the club actually vote against his wishes? If so, can you give me sources for this?

  5. OT: Arsenal U18 FA Cup Leg 2 game

    From the twit feed:
    > FA Youth Cup semi-final second leg… Virginia, Daley-Campbell, Thompson, Burton, Ballard (c), Medley, Balogun, Olayinka, John-Jules, Smith Rowe, Amaechi


  6. I think the decision not to introduce the VARs in the Premier League games nect season was not entirely that of the PGMO decision making whose organization is seen to run in secrecy. But the decision not to introduce VAR in the PL next season was taken by the 20 member PL clubs with the anti-introducing the VAR in the PL next season in the majority as against the pro-introducing it next season in the minority that includes Arsenal. So, as they say in democracy, the majority carries the votes. But I believe the anti-introducing the VAR clubs in the PL next season must have been encouraged to go that line because Uefa the parent football authority in Europe have decided not to introduce the use of VAR in the matches in all their competitions until when I can’t say.

    Since Fifa executives have finally decided to yield to pressure to approve the use of video technology in Fifa organised matches after Frank Lampard’s goal against Germany in 2010 World Cup finals match was not given by the match officiating referee, but likely would have been given if there was VAR in used in the match. However, the lukewarm attitude of the PGMO hierarchies in embracing the use of the VAR in Premier League matches since Fifa and all the big Leagues in European football but the French Ligue 1 have embraced the use of it and Fifa have even started using the technology and the big 3 European Leagues of: LA Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga will start using it next season but the PL clubs deferring it’s use in PL matches next season has come as a disappointing surprise. For, one would have thought the PGMO and the PL clubs will in the forefront agitating for early introducing of VAR technology in official matches after Frank Lampard’s goal in the World Cup was unlawfully denied.

    I think the overriding interest of the PGMO and the anti-introducing the VAR clubs in PL matches next season is to stop Arsene Wenger managed Arsenal team from winning the PL Title again the brain behind the deferment of the introducing the VAR in the Premier League matches next season. Otherwise, what is the genuine reason for deferring it being the older referee organization with vast years of experience ahead of others?

  7. Tony

    My comment is based on a Sky TV report where it stated that the 20 clubs voted against its introduction and opted for continued testing as opposed to immediate introduction.
    I took that as meaning that it was unanimous but I accept it could just mean that all clubs had a vote.

  8. seems that var could vindicate Wenger and would filter out the most blatant bias = at least 5 xtra points, but maybe more important: players will gain more selfconfidence a little more protected by the system= also xtra points

  9. OT: Arsenal U18 FA Cup Leg 2 game

    From the twit feed:

    _8 So close to an early goal! Daley-Campbell races …

    18 GOOOOOAL! He’s looked the most likely so far, and now …

    20 AND ANOTHER ONE! ⚽️ This time it’s …

    23 MAKE THAT THREE! ⚽️ This time it’s …

    33 IT’S FOUR! …

    And I gather is is half time now.


  10. OT: Arsenal U18 FA Cup Leg 2 game

    90+ … strikes right at the end to make it 5️⃣ – and we’re into the FA Youth Cup final in style! Congratulations,

    At some point, should have a writeup. Perhaps some Untolder was at the game, and would like to make a report? iwas just following the twit thing.

  11. @ Tony

    No he doesn’t have sources, he’s guessing. Butt by pretending he hasn’t seen your question he can hide behind his fake claim…….

  12. Tony,

    just read the Guardian. Another piece talking about VAR being used…and fans being upset. Buess it’s not the fans from the side that was getting the call for her…

    As you were saying. Guess we’ll have only negative pieces about VAR for months to come. After all the (toilet)papers need to do their job and answer their masters….just puppets.

    Now the intersting thing here is that…the game is just halfway through the second half and the Guardian already has a piece about it online ?!?! And reading it it looks like the Freiburg players were pretty much sleeping…and being called back. Reading a live ticker in germany, basically, halftime called at 45+1, VAR intervenes at 45+2…

    And so nothing in the comments that screams of scandal etc. And that the mainz fans are unhappy, well what is the news there ? Where is the surprise ? It is not even mentionned in the live ticker in Germany.

    Anybody wants to have a proof of the manipulation going on with PGMOB and football… just read it and go to the live ticker and have it translated.

  13. I did go back to see what was being said after the game. Both coaches said that it was correct, that it was curious, but that it was abiding by the rules – says the mananager of the losing team.

    But then, what the hell do they know about football in Germany anyway ?

  14. Chris
    PGMO have no jurisdiction in German football.
    Most news outlets put live or slightly delayed reports online.
    More reasons to delay the intro of VAR.

  15. PTO,

    yep you got it right on spot, guess, over time my comments must become way clearer than they used to be.

    Them germans have no damn idea what football and good refereeing is about. And PGMO would put that right in a few week-ends time wouldn’t they ?

    And the fact that no english refs are going to the world cup has nothing to do with their level on (in)competence but all to do with the FA’s not wanting to pollute them with them damn VARs and keep them pritine in their 98% efficient way of refereeing PL football that has proven its quality.

    So what the papers are not saying – because they are being polite with the rest of the world – is that FA/PGMOB turned down offers to have the creme de la creme of PL referee in the WC this summer. Given their advanced age, and the low number of them, it makes sense. They’d have needed to give them a month extra time to recover – after all they are high level professionnal athletes – jeopardizing the start of the PL in August.

  16. And there I was thinking that no English refs are going to the World Cup due to their relatively low experience of VAR.

  17. Gooner Mikey

    As you will see I replied to Tony’s question within an hour and around two hours before your post trying to dis me for not replying.
    Ok my comment went into moderation sow you wouldn’t have seen it in real time but i may be many things but I will always reply to questions such as the one asked of me. An apology would be good but I won’t hold my breath.
    Irrespective the point I was trying to make in my first post was it was the clubs that made the descion not to introduce VAR meaning that the required majority for its introduction was not achieved irrespective of how individual clubs voted.Everything I read and indeed have by told by a PL ref assessor is that the refs themselves are quite comfortable with its introduction
    We all have opinions about VAR & I suspect that we will all be better informed following the WC even so when it is introduced into the PL , which it will be in the not too distant future It will be extremely interesting reading comments on here when many of the descions that so many feel we’re judged incorrectly aren’t overturned.

  18. The event in Germany shows how the VAR works perfectly. On the other hand (sic) the handball from the Newcastle player that resulted in a corner might have been changed in a penalty with a VAR referee. Hand in unnatural position so it should have been a penalty. Of course it wouldn’t have mattered as it would have been 0-2 at the time. But with the all perfect PGMO referees this is not a problem of course….

  19. Walter

    The incident at Newcastle was clearly seen by the ref, he gave a corner for the ball coming off the hand so the question then has to be asked was it an obvious mistake for even VAR to be applied?
    It’s pretty obvious how that will be viewed on here but FIFA now advise that the poison of a hand in an un natural position in itself doesn’t mean it’s a penalty.
    Was it ball to hand or hand to ball? Was the defenders hand in that position before the ball was kicked or after?
    Watching the game live I agree it certainly could have been given but once it wasn’t in real time I suspect that as the ref gave a corner, meaning he saw the contact with the hand and deemed it not to be deliberate handball then as. I said earlier it’s debatable VAR would have been bought into play .

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