VAR For The Win


Copyright to Petr David Josek Photographer for The Guardian

Jessie Aitken, Bark Staff

VAR for the Win

The 2022 World cup has had many ups and downs. At Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Japan played against Spain in an intense game for the 2022 World Cup. The end results shocked many. The game ended 2-1 after the tie-breaking shot by Kaoru Mitoma of Japan. This was the goal that would knock out Germany from the World Cup since the score of 4-2 with Germany against Costa Rica was not enough to save Germany from being eliminated. The goal was debated by many. The ball appeared to be out before it was shot. There are many pictures showing that the ball was clearly out of the end line before it was crossed into the net.

Originally, the referee’s agreed that the goal would not count due to the obvious appearance of the ball being out. However, the VAR (Video Assistant Referee), overthrew the call on the field. He claimed, that though the ball appeared to be out in many pictures and videos, one photo showed that the ball was the tiniest bit on the line. He looked over many videos and pictures and found all the same results. He also looked from many different angles until finally found the photo that showed a difference. A soccer rule is that if the ball is even the tiniest bit on the field line then the ball is still in play. A photo by photographer Giuseppe Cacace from Getty Images shows the ball clearly out of play. However, another photo taken by Petr David Josek shows that the ball seems to be slightly on the end line. A sliver of paint appears to be under the smallest part of the ball. According to Sky Sports, “VAR ruled in favor of Japan, saying the curvature of the ball had not crossed the line.” This is what solidifies the choice of making the goal count. Many were devastated including Germany’s team. Unfortunately, they are now out of the World Cup after the call that surprised everyone. Japan had already beaten Germany, and Germany’s win over Costa Rica with an end score of 4-2 wasn’t enough to save them from the knockout. Japan had previously lost to Costa Rica 0-1. According to Sky Sports, “Spain were utterly dominant in the first half at the Khalifa International Stadium and looked set to advance in first place after Alvaro Morata headed home his third goal of the tournament (11).” Japan was the team many sports fans thought would win and the odds were in Spain’s favor in the beginning. During the first period of the game, it seemed clear Spain would have victory over Japan. Japan’s goal is very controversial and will probably be one that will be remembered by many. It shocked World Cup fans all over the world. However, Japan was victorious and showed all the nonbelievers wrong. Though it can still be argued that the goal shouldn’t count, the call is final. Japan won.