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2022 World Cup: “Goals with video refereeing are conditional, emotions are too”

“A football match never ends until the final whistle. » The France-Tunisia result on Wednesday 30 November disproved that old adage. Even after three whistles, a fourth – theatrical – is still possible. The French FA appealed not to the questionable interpretation of the offside rule that caused Antoine Griezmann’s goal to be disallowed, but to the interference of the video referees, which was illegal because play had already resumed.

In this case, the correction of the score does not change the identity and order of the qualification participants. But the possibility of a sporting or civil court deciding the outcome would be a further step forward in the court introduced by video-assisted refereeing (VAR).

Hunting for mistakes that have become unbearable, VAR has made its operators enforcers, measuring offsides to the centimeter and adopting a binary logic for contacts and hands in the area: anything found is sanctioned. The concept of interpretation in hell – and intention, for the hands.

Therefore, the match will be under constant threat of appeal. Goals are conditional, so are emotions. The instant joy – or disappointment – of seeing the ball go into the net is now amputated by doubt. Even when the goal ends with a clear action, we go over it mentally, looking for a detail that can undo everything. Little thoughts come to us whether we fear or hope for nothing.

Is this a play, football or television?

Do the emotions double with the addition of a second-instance decision, its anticipation creating tremendous suspense? They seem to be divided into two. And then, is this stage, football or television?

To automate the arbitrage a bit more, we build devices based on sensors and cameras. The “semi-automatic offside” adopted for this competition tracks the knee and toes and provides a synthetic image that is authentic. Technology or magic? Football Law 11 aims to “camp” attackers close to the opponent’s box. He should only punish attackers who take an undue advantage over a defender, not a jugular in an illegal position like Dejan Lovren did during Belgium-Croatia.

The somewhat psychotic proponents of this algorithmic justice are delighted by these verdicts, which certainly have merit, even if they machete the myriad dilemmas posed by every football match.

Source: Le Monde



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