Paolo Casarin, a well-regarded commentator and former referee, has shared his views on the challenges experienced by referees, particularly during the era of video assistant referee (VAR) in Serie A, says La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Discussing the uniformity of judgement, Casarin recalls, “Between 1990 to 1997, an average of 46 fouls was called per game. The referees of that era were somewhat frightening, the mean was as such. Today it’s decreased, ostensibly because the game should be more European.” He went on to say that within a match, aside from absolutely clear situations, there’s a significant number of fouls that need studying, a ‘grey area’ that referees should examine more thoroughly. Only pursuing this approach can bring about uniformity, he suggests.
On the topic of VAR, Casarin believes there’s no going back. “The entire referee team must ensure that nothing remains unnoticed.” He mentioned how VAR initially consisted of four voices, and has now grown to span twenty pages. As football and its pace evolve, so too should the rest of the sport, in order to remove any mistakes or situations missed by the referee on the field. However, he emphasised that there always needs to be the evaluation of the person on the pitch. If not, video will rule the game.
Regarding “broadcasted” penalties, Casarin denies their existence, claiming “there is no such phrase: who uses it should desist.”