FIFA has seemingly turned a page in the history book of footballing entertainment. This page in the history book was quite into the turning for almost the whole decade, with the events like awarding of the world cup to new hosts like Russia and Qatar, the sitting president coming under the scanner, and perhaps the most debated refereeing system. With this world cup in action one can safely assume that the page has hence turned for the better.
The balance of upsets in the group stages and the first day of knockouts has been quite as expected. The previous world cup winners exiting at the group stages has been the unsaid norm for a quite a few world cups now and hence this time too the tradition continues.
The real twist in the tale of this world cup which many people were cautioning about has instead swiped us all like the penultimate episode of every Game of Thrones season. The game changer so far:
VAR- Very Angry Response
Congratulations to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) for making the game even more entertaining. I also personally condole all the Foot-draggers and the naysayers who had written the epitaph of the beautiful game with the advent of a TV review system. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has come out to be the best surprise and has hardly failed anyone in getting entertained.
About 50 matches have been played as yet in the World Cup and the VAR has come into action for about a couple of dozen times. The biggest complaint that the critics had was the slowing down of the game due to over indulgence in the review. The other vehemence in the argument was that any outside intervention at a crucial moment in the game would affect the sanctity of the arbitrariness or uncertainty in decision making. The joy of such arbitrariness was being defended as the real excitement of the game and the advent of technology as a corrosion of pure entertainment.
The VAR has done nothing short of impressing the viewers, perhaps even more the neutrals like you and me who want to see the controversial decisions being taken and then either being confirmed or being reversed by the VAR. The suspense that looms for that time period and you sitting at home and judging with the referee is the unprecedented excitement that has taken us by surprise. The probability of its fairness has also increased. The apparent penalty that Neymar won against the Costa Ricans that was later confirmed to be the step of Neo-dodging-bullets that caught the referee’s imagination and was later overturned after VAR review is the whole reason that this review system is a success. More than anything, it is the FIFA that has gained any goodwill for not only making the game fairer but even more exciting.
The sense of grief that arises from injustice is only put to rest when you vindicate yourself in the future. The joy of vengeance perhaps leaves a deeper scar on the minds and hearts of the ones being perished, even more when such vengeance is attained at the cost of injustice. Because then two injustices added up to make one justice. A great approach to life, this, in the medieval times. Today you would have only tightened the noose on the neck of the beautiful game had the use of adequate technology not been put to test.
Has the VAR actually changed the fate of the game so far? Yes! one at least. Spain getting back the goal that was ruled offside right at the brink of the game against Morocco. Just one game, is this worth it then? Of course! Imagine the sense of injustice had Spain not qualified due to the wrong decision.
VAR courtesy Gianni Infantino is one of the real game-changers that has really entertained this world cup.