The referee explains his decision across the field

The referee explains his decision across the field

A historic moment this Saturday in professional football: a Portuguese referee explains for the first time to the entire stadium, live, his decision after consulting VAR.

03/10/2024, 11:5703/10/2024 at 6:26 pm

If viewers of Saturday's match between Rio Ave and Braga did not have the opportunity to see a goal, they did witness a historic moment.

For the first time in the worldFirst division referee He explained his decision, after consulting VAR, to the entire stadium live. In this case, the goal is cancelled.

The scene occurred in the 63rd minute, when Braga thought they had opened the scoring with a wonderful comeback from their striker Simone Panza. But after examining the video, the referee, Mr. Fabio Verissimo, canceled this goal due to offside by the Congolese at the beginning of the match. With his microphone connected to the stadium's sound system, the match director turned towards the stand to look at the crowd and justified his decision with letter Ten seconds.

“On examination, an attacking player is in an offside position obstructing a defender. Final decision: Offside. Goal disallowed.”

Fabio Verissimo to the audience

The scene on video 📺

Video: Twitter

During the explanation, we hear some whistles (Braga fans) and a lot of applause (Rio Ave fans).

Transparency And education

Aside from the conflicting feelings it arouses among fans of both teams depending on the decision, This practice has the advantage of giving greater transparency to arbitration. A request regularly made by players, coaches and fans. It is part of a trend that has seen, for example, microphone tests on referees so that viewers can hear dialogues between the latter and footballers or coaches.

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In Germany, there is a tie between game managers Post-match interviews regarding their decisions. In Switzerland, Luca Cibelli answered questions for RTS immediately after the Premier League match Sion – Winterthur (0-1) on 6 May 2023, when he canceled out a penalty kick for Valais due to a controversial action. This approach has remained casual in Swiss football, but former referee Stefan Studer has extolled its merits by explaining Watson That it was a “very good idea”.

The former whistleblower saw this, in addition to a way to fill the lack of transparency, as a possibility to “inform the public of the information available to the referee at the time of making his decision.” It also has an educational role for viewers, many of whom do not know the rules.

Follower border

But for Stefan Studer, it is necessary to give the referee time between his decision and public explanations:

“It's essential to give the referee enough time after the end of the match so he can see the TV images and get emotional, just to have a point of view and be as rational as possible in his interpretations.”

This is not allowed by the approach taken on Saturday evening in Portugal, where communication takes place immediately after the decision. Hence, to speak directly to the viewers as Mr. Verissimo did, you need a certain amount of charisma and very good communication skills. In other words, this new way of doing things requires additional skills from game managers, which are not necessarily innate.

There is another sensitive point: speaking to the crowd could lead to the match being interrupted, which has already been undermined by VAR interventions. If these interpretations are multiplied, (remote) viewers risk becoming bored.

Despite these few potential negatives, Saturday's match during Rio Ave – Braga is promising and could inspire other tournaments (Switzerland?). Portugal is a pioneer in this new form of transparency, with testing overseen by FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

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About the Author: Lucinda Lima

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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