Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell says that the usage of VAR at the FIFA World Cup in Russia has shown the need for the deliberate handball ruling to be made clearer.
On the whole, the VAR system, used to assist the on-pitch official make crucial decisions over potential offside goals, penalty decisions and possible red cards has been a success at the World Cup, but there have also been a few debated ones relating to handling offences inside the penalty area.
On more than one occasion, the ball has simply struck a hand with the offending players totally oblivious to his surroundings as he jumps with his opponent. It has led to some bizarre penalties being given, most notably to Iran against Portugal.
Artell says the deliberate handball ruling is something that needs to be looked at going forward: “The VAR system has worked well on some occasions and not so well on others. I think it needed more testing. FIFA have introduced it on the biggest stage of all, the World Cup, without it being tried over a length of time.
“Now I don’t know for certain but I would imagine that the vast majority of the referee’s at the World Cup had never used it before. That first time has come on the biggest stage of all. They needed more knowledge of it.
“The handball ones are the decisions that annoy managers and players. It is supposed to be deliberate and they often not deliberate. It is usually the ball striking the arm or hand when people are jumping for headers. I disagree with most of them and I find it stage that five other officials in a room still decide that they are clear and deliberate handballs when they are not.
“When you have five referees telling you that you may have gone that one wrong through an ear piece, it doesn’t half put pressure on the referee. They don’t tend to go against the VAR room do they?”