In recent years, there has been a sporting behemoth lying dormant within our friends in the States.
America’s ‘Big Four’ have traditionally always been American Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Ice Hockey, but Soccer is rapidly closing the gap to secure a place within America’s sporting elite.
In terms of assistance to video refereeing, the English shot the last and are not far from regretting to have finally launched. The last major European Championship to introduce the VAR, the Premier League started this season only, but with great ambitions summed up by former striker Alan Shearer, responsible for the promotion of the product, in early August, before the first matches. “The Premier League set the bar high for the VAR, ignited the former striker Blackburn and Newcastle. The philosophy is: a minimum of interference, maximum benefits, to keep pace and passion we all know and love.
The growth of Major League Soccer and the consistent success of the USA Women’s Team have both contributed to this increasing popularity, and with renowned players such as Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard & Andrea Pirlo now opting to ply their trade in the States, this too has helped to boost the number of fans attending stadia, playing soccer, or viewing on TV.
To make this technological innovation accepted by the public, the Premier League is teaching. On Twitter, the official account of the English Championship explained how the video assistance was going to be introduced from this season 2019-2020. Like Ligue 1 and several national and international competitions, arbitration decisions can now be made using video in four scenarios: the validation of goals, the analysis of a possible penalty, the study of an offense punishable by direct expulsion (and not of a second yellow card) and the correction of an identity error. However, a novelty has been introduced: the Premier League gives viewers explanations of canceled decisions.
However, without the hard-work, dedication and perseverance of the amateur soccer leagues throughout the country, Soccer wouldn’t even be on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream. Grassroots football has been instrumental in engaging the American public and getting them to play ‘the beautiful game’.
But the use of video is already pointed in England. The quality of arbitrage across the Channel is generally taken as an example but the VAR has apparently changed the situation. The weekend debate was generated by the meeting between Aston Villa and Liverpool. A Firmino goal was denied for a decimated offside, while a hand of a defender of Aston Villa fell through the cracks, which irritated Jürgen Klopp at the highest point. As in Italy, a meeting is planned between the representatives of the 20 clubs and the leadership of the Premier League. To ease tensions but also to propose solutions. And as the Daily Telegraph reveals, some club presidents are determined to change the VAR rules. With the aim, in particular, the validation of a new way of using video. Namely it is requested by the coach of each team. A bit like tennis for example, with the “challenges” claimed by the players.
Earlier this year, Gotham Soccer League purchased several of our prized 16 x 7 Alu60 goals from our FORZA range, and we thought a little Q&A session with their VP/Commissioner Todd Jasko regarding the MLS, grassroots soccer, and what the game means to them, would help us (and you) to understand the game’s booming popularity across the pond.
The Daily Telegraph cites club presidents who want coaches to have 3 calls to the VAR each. This is not particularly a measure desired by the Premier League, which does not want to generate more waiting time for the public. Hence the requests for a broadcast on the screens of the stages of the images viewed by the referees so that the public is not put aside. The next few weeks could therefore lead to a new way of using VAR. It remains to be seen if this will inspire something to the direction of the arbitration in France.