VAR-ious ways new tech impacts the world cup

Costa Rica's Giancarlo Gonzalez appears to have fouled Brazilian star Neymar in the penalty area during the Group E match on Friday before referee Bjorn Kuipers awarded a penalty. But he reversed his decision after consultation with the video assista
Costa Rica's Giancarlo Gonzalez appears to have fouled Brazilian star Neymar in the penalty area during the Group E match on Friday before referee Bjorn Kuipers awarded a penalty. But he reversed his decision after consultation with the video assistant referee.PHOTO: REUTERS

Besides penalty calls and other contentious situations, VAR has changed football in many ways

Of all its critics, perhaps the biggest detractors of the debut of the video assistant referee (VAR) at this World Cup are the goalkeepers.

After yesterday's games - England's 6-1 win over Panama and Japan's 2-2 draw with Senegal -13 of the 78 goals had come from penalties with six awarded (four scored, two missed) after VAR's intervention. That has already surpassed the record 12 spot kicks converted at Argentina 1978.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2018, with the headline 'VAR-ious ways new tech impacts the world cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe