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World Cup: 5 refereeing mistakes where VAR would have altered history

Rohith Nair
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5.88K   //    09 Nov 2017, 16:19 IST

Football is one of the last few sports to embrace technology in making on-field decisions. Purists have forever bemoaned the delays in decision-making that disturb the flow of the game and that argument alone has acted as a barrier in introducing technology to help referees and linesmen.

Goal Line Technology was the first step in addressing refereeing errors and it proved to be a very valuable tool thanks to its efficiency and quick response.

However, VAR (Video Assistant Referee) is slowly gaining acceptance in top leagues across Europe. Bundesliga and Serie A have already started employing VARs and it's only a matter of time before it makes its way to top leagues and international matches.

So what if VAR was available back in the day? What goals and results would we have seen? We analyse five goals and the scenarios we could have seen as a result of goals being disallowed.

#5 Frank Lampard's disallowed goal: England vs Germany (2010)

Manuel Neuer watches Frank Lampard's shot bounce in and out
Manuel Neuer watches Frank Lampard's shot bounce in and out

The 2010 World Cup had one major talking point that eventually reignited the debate on using devices to make decisions. Germany met England in the quarter-finals that year and the game saw Die Mannschaft take a 2-0 lead with Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski scoring within half an hour.

However, Matthew Upson led the Three Lions' fightback with a goal before England midfielder Frank Lampard took a shot from distance that hit the underside of the bar, bounced inside the goal, and then popped out.

Manuel Neuer was well and truly beaten. He had watched the ball bounce inside the goal but quickly collected the ball and booted it up field before the referee and the linesman had a chance to adjudicate.

Lampard was already celebrating the equaliser before he saw the referee ignore his teammates clamouring for the goal to be awarded. Even coach Fabio Capello was quietly celebrating till he saw to his horror that the goal wasn't awarded.

Frank Lampard disallowed goal Manuel Neuer England Germany 2010 World Cup
Lampard's shot clearly crossed the line (Image courtesy of BBC)

It would have been the perfect goal to lift up their spirits and provide fans with a scintillating second half. Instead, England were left broken and went on to lose 4-0 with Thomas Muller grabbing a brace to knock the 'Golden Generation' out of the World Cup.

"It is obvious that after the experience so far in this World Cup it would be a nonsense to not reopen the file of technology at the business meeting of the International FA Board in July.
"We will naturally take on board the discussion on technology." - Ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter

Goal Line Technology was still an untested and unproven concept in 2010. But VAR would definitely have ruled in England's favour.

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