Video Assistant Referee(VAR) is a hot button issue in the soccer world. Many people like its ability to get poor calls corrected, while others think the process of reviewing plays takes far too long and ultimately disrupts the flow of a match. After last Saturday’s match against LAFC, we can add Tata Martino to the latter. Here’s what the head coach had to say about VAR during the post-match press conference.
“I don’t agree with anything. It’s tiring having the ref go and come back and review the calls. I think you have to review the main plays, but you can’t be reviewing every play of the match. Otherwise, the match is going to be even longer than a basketball game. One day we’re going to leave here at midnight.”
The statement came after two major calls were overturned by video review. The first happened in the opening minute of the mach, as Chris McCann’s initial red card was downgraded to a yellow. The second stemmed from Miguel Almiron being tripped inside the box in the 86th minute. The head referee ruled it a penalty after review, initially calling a corner.
It’s interesting to hear this sentiment from a coach whose team benefited from video review twice during a match that ended minutes before he said it. However, that means Martino genuinely believes in what he said. Even though VAR has gone Atlanta’s way more often than not, Martino still sees it as a nuisance that doesn’t truly help the sport as long as it continues to delay play.