MILAN (Reuters) - The introduction of video assistant referees (VARs) is irreversible and their job much harder than it looks, the official responsible for implementing the use of video replays at Serie A matches said Monday.
VARs are being trialled in various competitions around the world and made their Italian league debut at the weekend.
“It is an irreversible process that needs to be improved in times and procedures,” said Roberto Rosetti, himself a former referee.
“After a friendly match in front of 80,000 people, a VAR told me that he had never been so tired in his life. It is another concept, a different assessment structure and it takes time and patience to do things the right way.”
Rosetti said VAR had intervened in six of the 10 games at the weekend and twice helped the main match official correct his original decision.
The first intervention was to award Cagliari a penalty against Juventus on Saturday after the referee originally waved play on, although the Sardinian team wasted the chance as Diego Farias saw his spot kick saved.
The second was to send off Crotone’s Federico Ceccherini in the fourth minute after he gave away a penalty in Sunday’s game at home to AC Milan. The referee, having awarded the penalty, had originally booked Ceccherini.
“The technical decision was right but there was a clear error on the disciplinary side,” said Rosetti.
He said that the VAR at the Inter Milan-Fiorentina match had avoided a potential controversy by confirming the referee’s original decision to turn down a penalty appeal after Fiorentina’s Giovanni Simeone went down in the area.
“The VAR controlled a situation where it could have been assumed that there was a serious mistake,” he said.
Rosetti also commented on the decision to disallow a goal scored by Alex Berenguer for Torino at Bologna, for offside against his team mate Andrea Belotti.
The referee had stopped the game before Berenguer scored and was therefore unable to award the goal even after the video review had shown it to be legitimate.
“When the referee blows his whistle, the game stops and from that moment the VAR should not intervene,” said Rosetti.
“We know that every change needs a phase of adaptation, the procedures have to optimised and the time taken needs to be limited and improved.”
He had the impression that the players were “more restrained and accepting refereeing decisions very well.”
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Christian Radnedge