Jose Mourinho has expressed his support for the implementation of VAR technology ahead of Manchester United’s FA Cup clash with Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
VAR is now used on a full time basis in top divisions in Italy, Germany, Portugal, Poland, Australia and the United States.
The technology has been used in some FA Cup fixtures this season and Man United will play their first game with it in place at the Kirklees Stadium.
And Mourinho, when asked about about VAR, noted that it was a welcome addition to the game.
“When people ask us if we like it, if we don’t like it, if we agree with it or don’t agree with it, I think honestly it’s a question for the referees,” he said.
“They want to perform the best they can, they don’t like to make mistakes. And sometimes they make mistakes because it’s a human mistake and you cannot go over it unless you have some technological support.
“So if the referees are happy with that technological support, then yes, let’s go for the VAR.
“I think, from my perspective, I like the feeling.
“Of course they need adjustments. They need to make sure that they don’t change the dynamic of the game too much, the emotion of the game too much – people waiting a couple of minutes to know if they can jump (and celebrate) because it was a goal.
“But from my professional perspective, I like the feeling of a right decision is coming. It’s a penalty or not a penalty, it’s handball or not handball, it’s a red card or not a red card. I think a fair decision is a feeling that I like.”
Mourinho’s comments essentially align with the wider consensus surrounding VAR: that the technology, in principle, ought to be implemented but in a far more seamless manner than what we saw during Liverpool’s FA Cup defeat to West Ham United, which for all the drama it created also gave the entire a affair a kind of truncated, chaotic veneer.
But VAR is not like goal-line technology – an obviously needed and easily implemented means of accuracy that took way long to put in place (no, I’m not over Frank Lampard’s 2010 ghost goal, not even in the slightest).
Ensuring VAR operates at the same speed as, say, American Football or rugby will take some time and contain various stumbling blocks, but in the long term it will be worth the hassle.