Spot on: UEFA referees chief Rosetti says VAR is getting it right

June 28 – The increase in the number of penalties awarded at Euro 2020 has won approval from UEFA’s referees chief who says it shows VAR is working correctly.

Before the knockout stage began, in a mid-tournament review Roberto Rosetti said14 spot-kicks were given in the 36 group games, compared to seven at the same stage of Euro 2016. The use of VAR changed refereeing decisions 12 times.

“One of the key points for this increase of penalties, of course, is related also to the implementation of VAR,” Rosetti said

“We have fewer fouls, fewer yellow cards, a better attitude from the players on the field and more time played.”

Rosetti made it clear however that the original concept of VAR – minimum intervention for maximum benefit – must never be forgotten.

“We know that this is an important project and it’s impossible to come back. There is more accuracy for sure,” he said.

“Before the VAR project there were many, many fouls in the penalty area missed by the referees. Now, it’s impossible to miss these fouls.

“We know very well the strength but also the limits of the project. VAR is a Formula One project, and for this Formula One project we need top, expert pilots. We need to find the correct balance in the line of intervention, because our target is to keep football like it is.

“It’s not acceptable to study all the minor pushing or pulling, or minor contacts and marginal contacts independently. The laws of the game are clear. We want the minimum interference for the maximum benefit and we want to intervene (only) for clear and obvious mistakes.”

Asked why VAR does not always intervene for controversial incidents in the box, he replied: “We don’t like soft penalties. We want clear penalties.”

When it comes to offside, the 21 “tight or difficult” offside rulings were all correctly judged, Rosetti said, while the updated handball law had also been well observed.

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