This season, with its implementation in the Premier League (the last bastion of resistance among the major leagues and competitions), VAR (Video Assistant Referee) appears to have penetrated the last barrier. In light of this Rubicon crossing, here is a brief, non-comprehensive list of problems plaguing the global soccer world:
- Racism, especially amongst certain fan bases and even some players
- Economic dichotomy and lack of competitiveness between the haves (i.e., Big Six in the Premier League, Big Two in La Liga, Juventus, Bayern Munich, PSG) and have-nots
- Lack of rest for elite players who constantly have to juggle club commitments and international duty
And here are two problems that were not, and are not, plaguing the global soccer world.
- Hyper-technical evaluation of each goal to see whether or not the attacking player receiving the penultimate pass was an inch offside
- Desire to stop the flow of the game after each goal to allow the fans to question whether the goal they just witnessed and the joy they just experienced were actually real
So let’s offer a hearty congratulations to FIFA and its affiliate associations for instituting VAR, which has been a truly effective solution to these problems we didn’t have.
And let’s hope FIFA works just as hard at addressing the problems global soccer actually has.