What future does VAR have?
The body responsible for the rules of the game, this Tuesday confirmed the agenda for the appointment of both on the eve of the premiere of the system for the first time in a U17 World Cup in Brazil from 26 October to 17 November, and with the leagues of Switzerland, Greece, Israel and Qatar as new subscribers to its use this season.
Approved by the IFAB on 3 March 2018 for the World Cup in Russia that year and then praised by FIFA and the last general assembly of this body, VAR is already part of 19 league championships and is beginning to arrive in others such as Croatia.
According to IFAB data, the "big five" European leagues - Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France - are joined with the installed VAR by the championships of Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, China, Korea and the United States.
Other federations such as Russia, to which the Spanish Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) have helped in its implantation, as well as in Turkey and Mexico, have already used it in some games.
In the case of Russia it was in the semi-finals and the Cup final last season, in the Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia and Australia it was used in the league and in Kuwait in the Copa del Emir.
But the 'antiquity' of the system has not prevented it from still generating misgivings and being heavily criticised. Although unusual, Leo Messi exploded this summer in the Copa America when the referee did not whistle two penalties in Argentina's favour and did not review the actions on the VAR screen in the semi-final against Brazil.
A similar situation in the League is the one that led Leganés to ask for the repetition of the match of the eighth round against Levante (1-2) from the minute in which the referee decreed a penalty against them without checking it, which was the Valencian team's first goal.
The Leganes-Leavnte case raised a lot of criticism in Spanish football as the President of Atletico Madrid and Jorge Valdano questioned a system that "causes a sense of suspicion," in the opinion of the former.
For Enrique Cerezo, "it may be fairer or less fair, but it takes the emotion out of football". "Before we had a problem for many people who were the referee and now we have two who are the referee and the VAR, and we probably have a third who are the operators of the VAR".
The response of the Spanish Technical Committee of Referees (CTA), which in 48 hours will bring together referees to analyse the development of the season, is that the second year of VAR "is more complicated than the first," and this has been seen in other countries, although it is a method that "has brought transparency, more justice and security" to football.
For the Committee, VAR helps to reduces the amount of errors that referees commit and that throughout the season in Spain, the accuracy percentage has increased from 93% to 97%.
In addition to the VAR, the IFAB advisory panels - football (FAP) and technical (TAP) - will also have on the table a review of the changes to the rules of the game introduced since 1st June, with proposals for clarifications and changes for the 2020/21 season.
The treatment of contusion cases, as well as fair play and playing behaviour are the other topics to be studied by the IFAB, a body made up of the federations of England (FA), Scotland (SFA), Wales (FAW) and Northern Ireland (IFA), in addition to FIFA (representing the remaining 207 national federations).