Is VAR a Help or Hindrance in Football?

Last updated: Feb 1st, 2019

Last night Derby County Football Club had a goal ruled out by VAR during the first half of their FA Cup third round replay against Southampton, with the decision dividing fans, pundits and ex-players throughout the country.


“The workrate they put in there, having to come through VAR going against us in really small margins, they worked so hard and they were great penalties at the end and great courage from the lads.”

Frank Lampard, Derby County Football Club Manager

Derby thought they had taken the lead midway through the first half way when Craig Bryson calmly slotted past Southampton keeper Angus Gunn – which resulted in wild celebrations from Derby and both sets of players making their way to the centre circle ready for the match to re-start.

However, with referee Anthony Taylor having to review every goal, there was a delay of several minutes as he tried to determine whether Martyn Waghorn was offside in the build-up. Even television replays failed to clearly show whether Waghorn had been off or not. Eventually VAR determined that he was offside and the goal was chalked off.

Cue the controversy.

First up, BBC pundit Alan Shearer: “We can’t tell if that’s offside at all, we’ve been looking at it for five or six minutes now. We are talking about millimetres. VAR wasn’t brought in for this. If they can’t make a decision after watching a replay two or three times then it is not obvious. Derby have been very hard done by.”

Fellow BBC pundit, Danny Murphy, was similarly unimpressed: “That was a good goal. I mean come on. The players were waiting around too long. It wasn’t clear and obvious. Should they be stopping it for that? It’s not the right way to watch a football match – that was tedious. If we stop for every goal, every week we are in trouble. I was a fan of it at the World Cup but that wasn’t clear or obvious.

But not everyone was so against VAR, with former DCFC player, Robbie Savage, tweeting the following:



We want your thoughts – is VAR helping the referees make the correct call every time? Or is this piece of technology ruining the beautiful game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.