It took FIFA a long time to take on board video technology to assist referees on the field. After all, cricket has been using its decision review system for a long time. In rugby, referees can send certain decisions to a television match official, or TMO, to help them decide whether a tackle was too high, if a player's feet were put into touch before scoring, and whether a ball has been properly grounded for a try. Indeed, tennis has been using technology to help with line decisions for even longer. And yet, it is understandable why football resisted the many calls for VAR - or something like it - for so long. Far from clearing up contentious on-field calls, the technology only seems to transfer the decision making from real time to a frame-by-frame process with all of its nuances and possible interpretations.
That said, few now believe that football - or any other sport, for that matter - will now drop technology as a part of its officiating. The genie is out of the bottle, you might say. However, if we have to live with VAR, then you could well ask yourself what would happen if such technology were to be rolled out in other areas of life. Imagine being able to turn to a final arbiter in your daily life to help prove or disprove whether something happened or not? Read on to find out how VAR might help - and hinder - routine human interactions.
How Might VAR Help In Daily Life?
It is tempting to think that VAR offers an opportunity to turn back time and have a second go at things you might have messed up the first time. However, VAR simply doesn't work like this. You cannot dial the clock back on a game of roulette when online gambling, for example, and use the same stake again and again until your number comes up. VAR isn't a time machine, after all. What it can do is offer an independent reference point that will help to establish the facts about past events. So, if a croupier questioned whether or not you got your stake down in time, then you could use VAR to prove you did. You couldn't alter the outcome itself.
Equally, if you had VAR following you around, then you would be able to deal with traffic disputes fairly easily. Let's say that someone reverses into your car in a line of traffic. How could you possibly prove that you didn't drive into the back of them instead? Well, with a VAR to help you, you would be able to show the Police and your car insurer that you were not to blame. In this sense, a daily-life VAR is very much like the equivalent of a dashcam. Been short-changed? Use VAR to prove you handed over a twenty pound note, not a tenner. Get the wrong dish from a waiter? Use VAR to go over what you ordered when it was first taken down. The possibilities of VAR are all positive, or are they?
What Could Be the Pitfalls of VAR System In Real Life?
Being able to prove something in your favour sounds very tempting but - as any football fan will tell you - VAR decisions go for and against you. Sometimes the evidence is not clear and one person can see it one way while another interprets events differently. You'd have to take the rough with the smooth if VAR followed your every move.
Then there is personal privacy to think about. What about the times in life when you want to get away with something? How about the last time you queue jumped or parked on a double yellow line even if it was only for a few minutes? There again, you ought to consider other people calling in VAR to check on what you said in the past about something. Politicians, in particular, should be wary about real life VAR in that sort of context.