‘The system can work but it can’t slow the game down’ Webster on VAR in football

PUBLISHED: 06:00 03 March 2018

Adam Webster, pictured in action against Derby, believes VAR has a place in football. Picture: STEPHEN WALLER

Adam Webster, pictured in action against Derby, believes VAR has a place in football. Picture: STEPHEN WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town defender Adam Webster would like to see VAR (Video Assistant Referee) trials continue but insists there are plenty of issues that must be ironed out before the technology becomes commonplace in the sport.

But the defender would like to see some issues ironed out before it is commonplace in the game. Picture: PAGEPIXBut the defender would like to see some issues ironed out before it is commonplace in the game. Picture: PAGEPIX

Webster and a number of his Blues team-mates took to social media on Wednesday night to comment on the use of the new technology, which allows a panel of officials watching on television screens to review certain decisions, in Tottenham’s FA Cup victory over Rochdale.

Erik Lamela saw a goal disallowed, Spurs were awarded a penalty and Son Heung-min was penalised for stuttering his run-up during his spot kick, once again shining the spotlight on the new video assistants following a number of similar instances during trial games, which have so far been restricted to Carabao and FA Cup games in English football.

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A FIFA vote will be held today to decide whether or not the technology should be used in this summer’s World Cup in Russia, with Webster not yet convinced it is ready for such a big stage.

“The system can work but it takes time and slows the game right down,” he said.

“If you score a goal and celebrate then it gets disallowed – that’s not a good part of it. There is definitely work to be done.

“They’re possibly going to have it at the World Cup in the summer and as things stand that’s worrying.”

But while the Ipswich defender believes more needs to be done to get the system up to speed, he believes it is something that should continue to be pursued.

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“I wouldn’t say they should bin it,” he said. “If you look at the other sports, like rugby, NFL and cricket, it obviously does help but for some reason it’s not having the same effect in football.

“I think we need some clarification about when it is going to be used. If you’re in the stadium as a fan you don’t know what is going on. If you’ve gone to watch a game and you don’t know what’s going on you’re only going to lose interest, aren’t you?

“In my view it’s worth continuing with the experiment, as long as they can get it right in the end. It helps the other sports so I don’t see why it can’t be the same for us.

Webster is back in the side having suffered and Achilles injury. Picture: PAGEPIX LTDWebster is back in the side having suffered and Achilles injury. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

“Its aim is to make sure you get the right decision but both the players and the spectators must be involved so I think they need a big screen for everyone to see why certain decisions have been given. We can’t afford to slow the game down, though.

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Webster is, though, a fan of the goal-line technology which has sees the Blues awarded goals against Brentford and Derby earlier in the season.

“The goal-line technology has been brilliant and I can think of a few times this season where it has helped us out,” he said.

“We wouldn’t have got the decisions without it but the VAR needs a bit of work on it still, so much so that I don’t think anyone knows what’s really going on.”

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