5 Moments in football history that needed a VAR intervention
- VAR has come under fire this season, but the following 5 controversial incidents could've done with an intervention from the system.
VAR has undoubtedly been the most controversial addition to the world of football in recent years, and since its inception, it seems that we can’t go a single week without witnessing some kind of eyebrow-raising call from the system, particularly in the Premier League.
However, the idea behind VAR is undoubtedly a good one, and in fact, there have been calls for years for football to make use of video technology, particularly in order to help referees make the correct calls in some difficult circumstances.
The following 5 incidents, for instance, could certainly have made use of a VAR intervention – and had that happened, things could’ve been very different.
#1 The Hand of God – Argentina vs. England, 1986 World Cup
One of the most infamous moments in football history occurred during the 1986 World Cup quarter-final between bitter rivals England and Argentina, the first time that the two nations had faced off on the pitch since the Falklands War between the two in 1982.
At the end of the first half, with the game still tied at 0-0, the ball was sent into the air by a skewed clearance by England’s Steve Hodge, and as it dropped towards the goal, Argentine forward Diego Maradona leapt into the air to challenge goalkeeper Peter Shilton – and appeared to head it into the empty net.
Replays, however, confirmed Maradona had in fact punched the ball into the net with his left hand – but as the referee and his assistants failed to spot it, the goal was given despite the protests of the England players. Later, the Argentine labelled the move the ‘Hand of God’.
Had VAR been in effect, though, there’s no way the goal would’ve stood; a quick check would’ve confirmed Maradona’s handball and the strike would’ve been chalked off – with the forward potentially facing a red card for blatant foul play. And if he had been sent off, then his incredible second goal would never have happened – and England would’ve advanced into the semi-finals of the tournament, changing history entirely.