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Question Number: 34258

Mechanics 6/28/2021

RE: Pro Professional

Steve Debus of Crofton , Maryland YSA asks...

I have a question about timing for VAR reviews. In France vs Switzerland today, the CR did not call a foul for Switzerland at the edge of the French PA and France counterattacked. At the end of that counterattack, Switzerland started to break out and that is when play was stopped by the VAR for review of the initial no call and the penalty was awarded. What would have happened if France had scored on their initial counterattack? Part of the French advantage on that attack was the quick change in direction after the foul non-call. Would that mean after VAR the subsequent French goal would be disallowed?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
I personally think that there was poor mechanics here by the referee perhaps caused by too long of a delay by VAR.
To me the referee had two choices
1. He could have called the penalty and then reviewed it if asked by VAR. I believe that a referee at this level should be getting this foul challenge and even if he gets it wrong he can still give a dropped ball to the defending team. Okay the Swiss player gets up instantly which may have swayed the referee into a no call yet I think it is easier to deal with the situation close to where it happens rather than waiting some 30 seconds later to take action.

2. He could have waited until the ball got short of halfway by France and then stopped play. By allowing play to continue he could have been faced with the difficult situation of disallowing a goal at one end and going back to award a penalty kick at the other which is the only choice available to a referee.
For some reason there was a lengthy delay in the VAR review and with technology plus a group of VAR officials the time taken could have been condensed down and certainly not to allow play to get to the other penalty area.
For what its worth the correct decision was made albeit for me it was too tardy a process. Imagine a goal, all the celebrations that go with that and then to disallow it to go to the other end for a penalty kick! Easier to call it in real time or stop play in a neutral zone and then tidy it up with VAR.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Steve,
while that could have gone horribly wrong, credit them for getting it right in the end.
Like any new technology, it takes time to work out the bugs. I agree with my colleague that the officials put the onus on the VAR rather than take the responsibility themselves

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