Latin America: 3 controversies where VAR was the star

The use of the VAR has not ceased to be controversial since its implementation in 2016. It is assumed that with the use of this “assistant video referee”, the four referees have the possibility of requesting a second opinion before plays where there has not been cleared. However, the technology implemented seems that on certain occasions it hinders the game because not only time is lost but the revision of the play can come several minutes later.

Referee indicating review of the VAR during a match.

Referee indicating review of the VAR during a match. / Photo: Reuters

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

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Leer en español: América Latina: 3 polémicas en donde el VAR ha sido protagonista

Recall that the above happened to the Colombian National Athletic team in the Club World Cup 2016, championship in being the first where the VAR was implemented, because as explained by Red Football “the play was controversial due to the delay in which the action was charged, as it had already passed a few minutes, and this ended up deconcentrating the Colombian team, which could not qualify for the grand final. ”

Like this, there are several cases that have harmed several teams throughout Latin America and from LatinAmerican Post we tell you the most recent controversies about the use of VAR.

1. River - Flamengo

The final of the Copa Libertadores was not exempt from controversy. The two teams that reached the last stage were River Plate (Argentina) and Flamengo (Brazil). The match ended 2 goals to 1, but the controversy began at minute 11 of the second half, in an action that favored the Brazilian team and which lost by just one goal.

The play was the perfect opportunity to tie the game, but in the middle of a pass, in which he was likely to score a goal, the ball ended up hitting the body of Nicolás De la Cruz, one of River's midfielders, to finish in the hands of the Argentine goalkeeper, Franco Armani.


Una publicación compartida por Flamengo (@flamengo) el

Flamengo players immediately claimed the referee for the possibility of a penalty. The judge, meanwhile, was waiting for the VAR's instructions, who finally decided that it was not a hand, and therefore, there was no need for a penalty. The above unleashed the controversy, because the main referee was not called to see the screen and many fans were left with the doubt of whether it was really criminal or not.

Given this, the VAR decided to publish the audios and images about what happened in the VAR room. In this way, the referees decided that "there is a rebound in one leg of the defender and then in an arm totally in a natural position", with this in mind, the main referee decreed that it was a neutral ball, and therefore there was no penalty.

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2. Junior - America

The VAR was released with controversy in the final of the Aguila-II League, 2019. The match played last December first had two moments where the VAR was the star. The first, as As explains, occurred in the 32nd minute when Junior approached the goal of América de Cali, where the striker Teófilo Gutiérrez approached. Junior number 29 set out to receive a center from Marlon Piedrahita, and end up finishing off and sending the ball against the net. However, while the sharks celebrated, the line judge marked an advanced position, an action that was ratified by the VAR.

The second play, and the most controversial, was given before finishing the first half of the game. According to the same media, "Germán Mera and Michael Rangel played a ball in the air inside the area, the defender managed to get first to the encounter with the ball but in his jump, he hit with the elbow the attacker of Cali's team."

Being inside the area, the referee was asked to give a penalty, but neither the referee nor the VAR took action on the matter, causing the game to run its course. Finally, the match ended in a draw.

3. America vs Tigers

In the Mexican League, America also suffered with a controversial decision by the VAR. In the first leg for the Quarterfinals of the Mexican Soccer League, the referee, Fernando Guerrero, used the VAR resource in situations that were not strictly necessary, causing discomfort not only in the players but in the fans.

However, in one of those many reviews and in a period of five minutes, the referee annulled a penalty to America and awarded another to Tigres. The first thing happened when the two teams tied 1-1, in a decisive action that could give America the advantage, as striker Richard Sanchez fell into the area for an alleged touch of the Tigers defender Diego Reyes. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the criminal, but the VAR asked him to review the action and that is when Guerrero made the decision to cancel the criminal option.

Then, in the 65th minute and in the field of America, Richard Sanchez again swept his rival, Javier Aquino, and in this way generated the criminal action. Again, Guerrero relied on the VAR again and granted the move as valid, generating a clear goal option for Tigers; team that in the second leg would qualify to the quarterfinals.

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