Prominent Italian journalist Paolo Condò has stepped into the ongoing debate about the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in football. Writing in ‘Repubblica’, he echoed the views previously expressed by Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri.
According to Condò, Allegri is correct in saying that video refereeing is as subjective as on-field refereeing. However, he points out crucial nuances in this argument. He emphasised that while field referees are given some leeway due to their real-time judgments, video referees should have less margin for error because they have the opportunity to review the action as many times as they wish.
As quoted in Repubblica, Condò’s strong statement read, “Allegri is right when he says that video judgement is as subject to interpretation as that of the referee, but there are some nuances in his argument: if the former is given some leeway because it operates ‘live’, the latter’s margin for error should be much tighter. They have the advantage of being able to review the action as many times as they want. They cannot afford to make such mistakes”.
This points towards a pressing concern within football, whether VAR has indeed improved decision making or has it just transferred the scrutiny from on-field referees to those monitoring from a video room. Allegri and Condò’s shared opinion highlights how VAR’s effectiveness is largely dependent on the individual judgement of referees, whether on the field or in front of screens.