This is the first World Cup with Video Assistant Referee, or VAR, which you should say in a pirate voice. VAR was weird as heck at first, but eventually FIFA got some lawyers to figure out how it should work, then added a bunch of replay officials who hilariously have to wear ref jerseys. With the high number of officials and camera angles available now, it usually moves pretty quickly and is generally useful.
But it’s certainly not perfect. In fact, it genuinely sucks sometimes. On a daily basis, we find ourselves asking...
Is VAR trash?
The answer changes on a daily basis.
As of Monday at 4:29 p.m. ET: Yes. VAR is trash.
Even though it correctly gave Iran a penalty on a handball, which they converted, VAR took a win away from Morocco when it (again, correctly, but that doesn’t matter) ruled that Iago Aspas was onside on a goal for Spain.
Honestly the entire last 15 minutes of those games was kind of a blur and I’m not entirely sure everything that happened, but I do know that VAR can get bent.
Nordin Amrabat agrees!
Nordin Amrabat lets the world know what he thinks of VAR... pic.twitter.com/0ZhQHk6Av4— Myron Naicker (@myronnaicker) June 25, 2018
Most notable on Monday was the stuff that VAR missed — notably, another Iran penalty, a Gerard Pique red card, and a Cristiano Ronaldo red card. If those had all gone through, it seems likely that one of Spain or Portugal would have been eliminated, with Iran progressing to the Round of 16. But we’ll never know.