Spanish judge determines that VAR officials have made serious errors

BARCELONA.- Evaluating the effectiveness of video review in football, a court of Spain determined that officials of the VAR They made serious mistakes during matches last season by selecting partial images for the referee to review.

In a recent verdict obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, the judge Madrid He cited two incidents in Spanish league matches last season in which footage provided by the video assistant led to erroneous decisions by the on-field referee.

This verdict dismisses the lawsuit filed by a former referee, who sued the Spanish Football Federation for not using him and another of his teammates as video assistants during the last two games of the season.

The first incident cited by the judge Sonia Lopez occurred during the visit of real Madrid to the Valencia in May, when Vinicius Junior He was sent off with a red card for struggling with opposing players after the video assistant intervened. The judge said the assistant did not show all the relevant images of the altercation and that she concluded that the players of the Valencia They were acting aggressively towards the Brazilian.

Vinicius He was racially abused during the match, leading to a global scandal.

The Spanish Football Federation He subsequently made the unusual decision to annul the red card Vinicius.

Another incident with the VAR:

The second incident cited was in the 3-3 draw of the Atlético de Madrid and Spanish in May, when those at home were trying to avoid relegation.

The referee initially ruled out a goal at the end of the Athletic because he determined that the ball had not completely crossed the goal line. The referee annulled the decision and awarded the equalizer to the capital club after seeing the images from the video assistant.

The judge indicated that there are other images that the video assistant did not offer to the referee on the court and that called into question whether the ball really crossed the line.

The referee who filed the lawsuit was not involved in either of these two incidents, but the judge included it as support for her decision that the Federation is justified in not employing him and another assistant.

Video review has been implemented in the Spanish league since the 2018-19 campaign.