England's Lionesses bid to make it to their first ever World Cup Final but face the reigning champions in the form of the United States in Lyon.

In the other semi tomorrow, the Netherlands take on Sweden.

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Darren Hind
1 Posted 02/07/2019 at 17:59:45
Time to draw up the battle "Lyons" with the Yanks!
Jamie Crowley
2 Posted 02/07/2019 at 18:28:55
Posted this on the Live Forum, and by the way Michael and Lyndon thank you for opening the forum up for this game.

It'll be a hellava lotta fun. I have to work, but my guess is my productivity will be close to zero.

So close to Treason Day! How perfect is this? C'mon Ladies from the melting pot! We don't lose to the Brits!

Brian Williams
3 Posted 02/07/2019 at 18:37:45

You're playing the English, not the Brits!

Jamie Crowley
4 Posted 02/07/2019 at 18:38:03
Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 02/07/2019 at 19:30:55
What's treason Jamie, electing Trump, or your best player saying "I'm not fucking goin to the White House?

Actually looking forward to the game especially since my 5-year-old daughter has started going on about "The Lionesses"

That Rapinoe is a lioness, so let's just hope the best team win!

Jamie Crowley
6 Posted 02/07/2019 at 19:51:35
Ant-o-nee -

Treason is only applicable in a monarchy, of which we have none, thanks to Treason Day! Yippee!

But Trump is an asswipe.

Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 02/07/2019 at 20:00:21
You sound like big Tony's wife there, Jamie mate, and you have just taken the lead with your Anthem, beating our ridiculous plea to God hands down!
Ray Roche
8 Posted 02/07/2019 at 20:22:03
Great England goal
Dave Ganley
9 Posted 02/07/2019 at 21:56:54
VAR is a farce, 5 minutes to make that penalty decision. I'm dreading this coming season, football is now a game for the TV audience. I don't care whether VAR gets the decisions right – it's sucking the life and joy out of going to the game.
Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 02/07/2019 at 21:59:49
That VAR, is definitely “treason” Jamie. I'm glad the keeper saved that pen, but if they are going to keep giving offside for such fine margins, they need to be looking at more than an inch, for decisions that little bit further up the pitch?

Good game though, and the best team won imo.

Dave Ganley
11 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:03:11
VAR was meant to be for clear and obvious mistakes by the referee — not minutely going through frame by frame to decide whether someone is offside by a toenail or not.
Andrew Ellams
12 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:06:13
VAR makes it less and less likely that I'll be watching much more top-level football, every time I watch the farces like we had tonight. It's just another nail in the game's coffin.
Jamie Crowley
13 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:07:34
She was off half a body length. It was offside. That's exactly what VAR is for.

But VAR definitely needs to speed the hell up! It took WAY too long.

Feel bad for England. They played wonderfully. Tough offside call, poor pen, could have went a different way.

In the end, the better team won. Sorry, but that's the way I saw it.

Pip is great. He's going to be one hell of a manager for a Premier League side one day. Classy fella, too.

Mike Connolly
14 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:11:26
Woman on the panel said the USA are serial winners. Looks like our team are going the men's route: Serial losers.
Andy Crooks
15 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:12:26
I think VAR should be for goalline decisions only. It will suck the life out of live football and make it a TV sport first and foremost. I hope Television enjoys the echo of empty grounds because that's the way it will go.
Michael Lynch
16 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:16:30
The more VAR decisions I see, the more I hate it. Great for the TV neutral, but not so great for those of us who go to the match and have to put up with ridiculously marginal decisions being over-turned after five minutes of video-scratching nonsense.

The disallowed goal just sucked the joy out of the game. It was hardly a glaring error by the ref or linesman. Ditto for the penalty. Sure, you can argue that it makes the game fairer because every decision will be the correct one, but it doesn't half take the joy out of it.

Brent Stephens
17 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:18:33
Amen to that, Michael.
Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:21:56
It's black and white, don't try to hide it.

VAR? Every time I looked at that penalty decision, I just felt that if they try 10 different angles, they might just be able to justify giving a penalty?

I'm not saying it wasn't offside Jamie, I just think they should introduce a 25-metre line or something similar for such tight decisions.

Geoff Lambert
19 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:22:25
Thank god that's over.
Dave Ganley
20 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:23:03
Not quite how I saw it, Jamie, but that's irrelevant really. Point being that VAR is killing any and all momentum of the game. Wouldn't matter if the boot was on the other foot and America was marginally offside by a toenail – I would say the same. Should be referee and assistant call.

What happened to giving the attacker the benefit of the doubt? Technically I guess decision was correct but to the detriment of the flow of the game. Where does it end in the clamour to get every decision correct for the TV viewer? Fouls? Free kicks? Throw-ins? Sooner or later, games will end up being 2 hours or more.

Jamie Crowley
21 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:24:40
Everyone talking about VAR, when I think the real topic should be the offside rule itself!!

The rule should be that if ANY part of the attackers body is level with ANY part of the second to last defenders body, it's onside.

That stops these stupid, off by a fingernail decisions. There could even be daylight between bodies, as long as a foot is level with a foot, it's onside.

That's what I think anyhow. This way, offside is CLEARLY offside.

VAR needs to be limited and defined. But it's in place to stop teams getting robbed.

And as the offside rule is currently written, that play today was 100% offside. Rough? Yes. But the correct call every time.

Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:26:24
Damn, Mike #14, what a sour sentiment. They just turned in the best Women's World Cup performance in their history and almost upset the Champions. Getting better and better. Can't imagine why you'd say something like that.
Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:27:45
Good post, Jamie. It's the laws of the game that need updating, especially with it being so quick nowadays.
Jamie Crowley
24 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:31:45
Tony, thank you, and I really believe in what I posted.

They say the benefit should go to the attacker. The current offside law doesn't allow that in the least.

If you change the law to the attackers entire body must be past the second to last defender, there's no vitriol if VAR calls it back because it's 100% clear. And it'll result in the benefit of the attacking team most of the time.

I'm sure someone will say it's a silly American idea, but for me, "my way" makes a lot more sense and will benefit the game on the whole.

VAR is an entirely positive thing. But it can not delay the game for minutes, turning it into a television viewing event as Michael above rightly points out. It needs to be defined and honed, and most importantly streamlined.

Today they reviewed the pen AFTER a sub! It took that long? Why?

Brent Stephens
25 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:31:54
Well done, Pip. Almost got there. The women's game has certainly developed over the last few years.
Ray Roche
26 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:36:05
Best team won. England didn't look as fit as the Yanks and the passing was poor.

VAR? God in Heaven – it's a game killer.

Jay Wood

27 Posted 02/07/2019 at 22:59:27
Well I was thoroughly entertained by that. Great game and the best team won.

Inlcuding the VAR decisions, it was all down to small margins. England were very good and would have beaten any other team in the competition, but the USA got over the line thanks to their superior fitness, technique, tactics and game management.

Tonight I will endure the Copa America semi-final between the Latin America giants Brazil and Argentina. I'm really not expecting to be entertained. I can honestly say the Women's World Cup has been far more entertaining than the Copa America. Three 0-0 quarter-finals, all decided on penalties.

Thankfully, I don't think this tournament will impact negatively on our two representatives. Richarlison played the first two games, was dropped to the bench for the next game and is now ruled out of the tournament due to mumps.

Mina, by contrast, has probably benefitted from playing every minute of Colombia's games. He needed some minutes in his legs and the Copa America has effectively given him a pre-pre-season.

Steve Ferns
28 Posted 02/07/2019 at 23:13:04
I didn't watch a minute of the Women's World Cup but I was intrigued to see that the crucial penalty miss was by the centre-half. Why would a top class international side have a centre-half taking penalties? Surely a striker would be better?

Also, I was reading how many of the England squad played for Everton ladies at one time of another, why are we bottom of the league then? Sounds like we're the Southampton of the women's game?

James Lauwervine
29 Posted 02/07/2019 at 23:23:33
Very good game and I was thinking how VAR seemed to have disappeared. Then it appeared and ruined the game.

The offside rule wasn't invented for that fractional, marginal nonsense. The lino was in the perfect spot and made the right call. I now can understand those who are concerned about the impact of VAR — it could be disastrous.

After that, the ref let it all go to her head and the USA team were pretty despicable towards the end. Pity as they played some great stuff earlier. Bad luck, England, and great effort.

Brian Williams
30 Posted 02/07/2019 at 23:25:23
Steve. 'Cause the usual penalty taker missed the last two so Steph Houghton, as captain, stepped up.
But talk about making it easy for the Yanks. If you're unsure or nervous, just fucking blast it for fuck's sake!
Steve Ferns
31 Posted 02/07/2019 at 23:32:45
Brian, I had a pretty good record with penalties. I read Unsworth's tip. Hit it hard, keep it low, aim straight down the middle ... and watch it fly in the corner!

Honestly, I did that every time and smashed it as hard as I could and it never went straight down the middle and I struggled to keep it down, but it never went high enough or wide enough to miss and amateur keepers aren't often lucky enough to keep out a rocket.

Brian Williams
32 Posted 02/07/2019 at 23:55:22
Exactly Steve. Us amateurs know it, so why can't the pro's manage it ffs!
Having said that the Yanks were better than us. Fitter, faster and more athletic. Not by a huge margin but better all the same.
Mike Gaynes
33 Posted 03/07/2019 at 01:01:06
ESPN just confirmed that USA captain Rapinoe missed the game because of a hamstring strain from the previous game. She is expected to play in the final.

Brian and Steve, I salute your courage. I took over 200 pens in competition over the years and never once had the bollocks to go down the middle, either hard or Panenka. Always had the mental picture of the keeper staying there and just catching the ball.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 03/07/2019 at 02:02:12
Mike, the point was that, although I aimed low and down the middle, it would end up in the top corner! So it didn't matter if the keeper stayed still. I honestly don't think I ever managed to keep it straight enough to go down the middle. I just went for power.

I'm sure Unsworth was a lot more accurate than me, but that's how he described his technique.

Ed Prytherch
35 Posted 03/07/2019 at 02:53:56
Unsy probably copied Francis Lee at City except that he didn't dive to win the penalties.
Mike Gaynes
36 Posted 03/07/2019 at 03:09:45
That got a full belly laugh from me, Steve.

How are you and your family doing?

Mike Gaynes
37 Posted 03/07/2019 at 03:21:32
Tell ya what, Brazil vs Argentina was a LOT of fun to watch. Great intensity and a moment of genius from Gabriel Jesus.
Si Cooper
38 Posted 03/07/2019 at 03:44:40
Seems to me that people are confusing fitness and athletic ability. Some people are just quicker and stronger and that's the impression I got from this game.

People forget (don't know?) how big the women's game is in the US and if you have a bigger pool to draw from you will generally end up with more of the physically gifted.

I thought the English girls have closed the gap markedly and as in Rugby League against the stand-out Aussies the British team at the next Olympics may actually be good enough to best them.

I didn't think the offside was anything like half a body length Jamie. I presume you actually mean half the width which is a bit of a nonsense as that depends on which way you are leaning. I agree that it should be every part of the body beyond the second to last defender; however, at the moment it is what it is and attackers are just going to have to err on the side of caution. If VAR is only supposed to overrule clear and obvious officiating mistakes, then it is being used wrongly.

Michael Lynch
39 Posted 03/07/2019 at 06:18:35
Si @38 I agree about it being used wrongly, but this is the problem with VAR – everything it unearths could be classed as a "clear and obvious officiating mistake" once VAR has run it backwards and forwards 94 times.

Also, if we change the offside rule, the problem won't go away – the problem is simply shifted to "is there a gap of any sort between the last defender and the attacker". Just as marginal.

Mike Gaynes
40 Posted 03/07/2019 at 06:35:21
I'm getting sick to death of the whining about VAR.

I just had a look at the old world without VAR, and it sucked. There's no VAR in the Gold Cup, and Mexico just beat Haiti in the semis 1-0 on a Raul Jimenez penalty in extra time. VAR would have revealed the pen to what seemed obvious even to the naked eye – a no-touch flop on the ball by Raul that swayed the partially-unsighted referee.

Underdog Haiti courageously earned, and thoroughly deserved, a chance to at least get to pens. Instead, Mexico was gifted a trip to the finals, where we again get to listen to their lowlife fans chant their homophobic obscenities to a worldwide TV audience, embarrassing their country and befouling the sport with the tacit consent of the gutless Mexican Football Federation.

If I'm in the small minority on VAR, fuck it, I'll take it. VAR is here to stay, and I'm glad. If we see fewer injustices like tonight, all the hassle is worth it. And then some.

End of rant. For the moment, anyway.

Ray Roche
41 Posted 03/07/2019 at 07:15:50
Mike, in theory VAR is a positive way of improving the game but if every time it's used takes 3-4 minutes then it will kill the game. Of course we all anticipate the Dark Side being denied the dozens of dodgy penalties but the system MUST be speeded up. Thirty seconds max to make a decision because if it's not obvious in that length of time then it's too close to call.
Michael Lynch
42 Posted 03/07/2019 at 07:17:48
Mike, fair point, but would you have been such a fan of VAR if a Haitian equaliser would have been correctly ruled out for the tiniest of pushes, or for one of the attackers' quiffs being marginally in front of the Mexican defensive line? Especially if you and the Haitians had been celebrating wildly for five minutes before the goal was over-ruled?
Ray Roche
43 Posted 03/07/2019 at 07:18:12
Oh, and make referees face the camera and explain their decisions. After all, they tend to love the limelight, mincing about the pitch with a “Look at me” attitude.
Michael Lynch
44 Posted 03/07/2019 at 07:20:48
Ray - that might be a good tweak to VAR; a 30 second clock ticking and if the ref/VAR person can't be sure in that time, then it's ref's decision like in cricket.

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 03/07/2019 at 07:27:30
Listen to some of the people on this thread Mike, people like Andy Crooks, who believe that it is going to slowly kill football as a “live spectator sport?”

It sounds like Haiti were robbed? That's how I felt when England were awarded a penalty last night, and I was glad the American keeper saved it.

If you have to stop the game and look at a decision 10/20 times from numerous angles, to try and find a foul, and also keep everyone waiting for 4/5 minutes in the process, then I'm not sure it's what people want, and it's something that definitely needs looking at.

Make it exciting: give teams three calls a game on any decision they choose (a bit like tennis) and let's just get on with playing football.

Ray Robinson
46 Posted 03/07/2019 at 08:35:13
Nothing wrong with VAR if properly and quickly applied but, as Tony says, if you have to look at footage as many times as the ref did last night before awarding England a pen, then she can't have been 100% certain anyway.

The biggest change though has to come by allowing a player whose toe, knee, or any other legally scoring appendage is marginally ahead of a defender to be deemed on-side. If there is no clear space between bodies, then the goal should stand. It used to called giving the benefit to the attacker. After all, even goal-line technology (which is great) dictates that the whole of the ball needs to be over the line in order for the goal to stand.

James Lauwervine
47 Posted 03/07/2019 at 09:10:30
Totally agree Ray, that's a very good point re the whole ball over the line. The same principle should apply to offside.
Derek Thomas
48 Posted 03/07/2019 at 09:49:50
Rather than the Referee asking VAR for confirmation, aka, did I see what I thought I saw? VAR seems to be telling the Referee, which is wrong. In fact, I think the rules of the game still state that the Referee Is in charge, so the Referee should ask VAR, not the other way around.

And, Offside, like a photo in the 100m sprint, it is judged on only the Torso.

Tony Abrahams
49 Posted 03/07/2019 at 10:44:39
Derek, I can imagine Martin Atkinson still getting to kill Everton, even when he retires, because of what you've just described in your first paragraph, mate.
Michael Lynch
50 Posted 03/07/2019 at 11:02:47
Again, re the offside rule, it won't stop there being VAR calls if you tweak it to "clear space" – they will still be rewinding the tape a million times to see if there was a centimetre gap or not.

And re making it the same as the goal-line rule (ie the entire ball needing to be over), well it already is the same because the entire body of the attacker needs to be one side of the "line of offside"; if even one cm of the attacker is on the wrong side of the line made by the defender then the goal doesn't count. Just depends how you read it?

Matthew Williams
51 Posted 03/07/2019 at 12:46:28
It looks to me that there is only one way round the madness that is VAR...


Si Cooper
52 Posted 03/07/2019 at 14:52:48
Michael @ 39, I think there will be less times when the attacker and defender overlap by mere centimetres. The problem with the current version is there can be plenty of occasions were the attacker is between millimetres to half-a-metre beyond the defender with some part of their body which assistant refs won't flag for and it is adversely affected by the tilt of the bodies. It comes down to whether the attacking play should get encouraged or not.

I actually thought that VAR worked really well for the penalty but don't know why the ref took so long to award it. Once you clearly saw the defenders knee thunk into the attacker's leg in the act of shooting it had to be a pen. Anyone who has played knows it doesn't take much to completely wreck your chances of converting the chance. The contact was enough that it threw the defender off balance as well and she ended up flat on her face.

Michael Lynch
53 Posted 03/07/2019 at 15:10:30
Setting aside VAR for a moment (no doubt it will be one of the main topics of discussion in the coming season), the viewing figures for last night's game have been released, and it was the most-watched TV programme in the UK so far this year, beating Line of Duty! Now that is astonishing, and brilliant, news. I really hope Women's Football kicks on from this at every level of the game. Maybe it will take a few years before Sky ruins the fucking thing too.

Did it seem weird to be cheering on women playing football? It didn't last night, for me anyway. By the end I was hurling as much abuse at them as I do at the men. That's equality for you.

Mike Gaynes
54 Posted 03/07/2019 at 15:12:27
Folks, the issue with VAR and offside is the new rule, not the VAR. I'm confident they'll go back to the old way of calling offside.

And as I've said ad nauseum, VAR will get better after its initial deployment difficulties. We've seen it repeatedly over the last two decades in baseball, NFL, rugby, hockey, basketball etc. etc. -- the process becomes more efficient, the delays shorter, the use of replay wiser. It's a process. And years from now we will all wonder what the hoo-hah was all about.

Jay Wood

55 Posted 03/07/2019 at 15:13:56
Talking of abusive language, Michael, did you hear when the effect mics picked up one the English players cursing like a trooper? Equality indeed!

Even the commentator was moved to apologize for it!

Mike Gaynes
56 Posted 03/07/2019 at 15:25:48
Michael #53, wow, that's great news about the ratings from yesterday's game. (I've read that Line of Duty is an awesome series.) The Women's World Cup always does seem to give the women's game a boost.

And re your comment at #42, hockey fans have gotten accustomed to occasionally celebrating in vain. The train whistle roars, the lights flash, the goal song pounds, the crowd dances, the goalscorer high-fives the bench, and then after a nervous delay (sometimes several minutes) the ref signals no goal because replay has determined that the original attack was a fraction of an inch offside, sometimes 10 seconds before the goal was scored.

And you know what? The NHL has survived and thrived -- never more popular -- and the fans are used to it. Footy fans will get used to it as well.

Tom Bowers
57 Posted 03/07/2019 at 15:29:31
The offside rule is a pain in the butt and always has been but my take is that there should be clear daylight between the last player and the offending forward. The current rule is always causing problems for the naked eye and the line official especially when they are not exactly in line with the play (or even when they are sometimes).
Jay Harris
58 Posted 03/07/2019 at 15:36:04
Using my own version of VAR (slow-motion replay), I believe the 2nd US goal was more offside than England's second but because they didnt complain it wasnt VARd.

I thought that all goals were subject to VAR?

Michael Lynch
59 Posted 03/07/2019 at 15:42:15
Mike @56 You're probably right, but it's going to take a last minute VAR decision in our favour to give us three points at Anfield before I admit it.
Ray Robinson
60 Posted 03/07/2019 at 15:42:25
Mike #56, rugby league has been using VAR for years and one of the very few issues with it still is that the referee has to call for it. I watched Warrington v St Helens last Friday and the ref didn't call for its use when St Helens scored their first try from a ball that was clearly played forward. Everyone in the stadium saw it apart from the ref, which meant that the try stood because the ref didn't request help. There's another thing to think about for those people who advocate that suggest that the VAR guys shouldn't advise the ref.

Early days yet but I doubt a partisan Premier League crowd will not be as forgiving as the spectators at a women's match.

Mike #39 and 50, very good point re the case against "clear space" but surely such a rules would transfer the advantage back to the attacker – which after all is in the spirit of the game?

I've seen two matches where a heel (of a player going backwards!) and a big toe have caused a goal to be disallowed! Neither player had been attempting to derive an unfair advantage and were in fact both attempting to stay in line with the last defender.

Terry White
61 Posted 03/07/2019 at 15:44:52
Derek (#48), my understanding of VAR is that the "booth" can contact the referee and tell him/her to take a look at the play. So you can get situations where the officials see nothing, play continues, and then the quizzical look on the ref's face as the booth contacts him/her and they replay something that could have happened minutes previously.

I am sure Mike Gaines will be able to correct me if I am wrong.

Terry White
62 Posted 03/07/2019 at 15:56:30
Mike G., is there anything in the VAR "guide" that states that there has to be a "clear and evident" mistake for VAR to overturn a decision on the field. This is not American Football!

James Hughes
63 Posted 03/07/2019 at 16:00:30
I see much media attention has focused on Morgan's 'Cup of Tea' celebration after the winning goal.

Can I just ask, are we offended by everything these days? Personally I don't understand the fuss.

Brian Williams
64 Posted 03/07/2019 at 16:06:58
James #63.

I wondered what that celebration was about to be honest, but guessed it was a piss take of the English in some way.

Personally I wouldn't be offended by those sort of actions. I'd be angry and, had I been playing in the game, I'd have sought out the "offender" and carried out a "robust challenge" by way of a thankyou! Sunday league justice if you will!

On a footnote, why make a point about something that happened in 1776 ffs?

Mike Gaynes
65 Posted 03/07/2019 at 16:11:55
Terry #61, you are (as always) correct. The VAR panel can contact the ref if they see an issue that he/she didn't.

Terry #62, I have no idea. That was certainly the original intent, but who knows what FIFA is telling the referees now.

Ray #60, in other sports where the replay system cannot or does not alert the referee, one solution that has worked well is the coach's challenge. It's a staple of the NFL and baseball. The coach is allotted a certain number of challenges and the call goes to the replay system then. Sounds like that would have worked well in the rugby example you cited.

William Gall
66 Posted 03/07/2019 at 16:42:12
One thing that is clear about VAR and I hope the English FA stamp it out, and that is the swarm of players surrounding the Referee giving their opinion of what happened. This action was highlighted in the Copa America.

My understanding is the video panel advise the referee on various situations happening during the game and then he looks at the monitor to give a decision and the constant badgering from players increase the time it takes for a decision.

Other people may like it but I don't. To me, we will end up with robots going up and down the line.

Maybe it is because I am 78 years old that I think it is taking the excitement from the game that a group of people watching monitors have more power than the referee.

Watching the England penalties, they nearly always put their shots low to the keeper's right.

Dave Ganley
67 Posted 03/07/2019 at 16:52:25
Mike with all due respect baseball and NFL has all kinds of stoppages, time outs, changing offense/defence, 9 innings in baseball etc. In those games you're there for the long haul, it doesn't have the flow and momentum of football.

Ice hockey is more faster but even then you have breaks in that due to players suddenly deciding to knock 7 bells out of each other.

Football doesn't want or need the kind of VAR stoppages. Momentum is everything in football. Have a stoppage for 5 minutes and it visibly affects the momentum of a game. It's horrible for the game and also the match going fans.

VAR is primarily for the TV audience. I don't want matches going on for 2 hours or so. It's a 90-minute game. Sometimes minutely dissecting decisions is not in the best interests of the game and if you have to minutely dissect a decision it should automatically go with the original ref's call.

As we have seen on this thread, people are still unsure exactly who was right and who was wrong regarding last nights decisions. They're not clear cut and it just makes it an opinion. It's not exciting for the match going fans and just makes the stoppages a farce.

Tony Abrahams
68 Posted 03/07/2019 at 17:12:19
I need new glasses Si@52, because I never clearly saw the defender's knee thunk into the attacker's leg.

I agree it doesn't need much of a shove to put an attacker off-balance, but I never saw enough of that for last nights penalty incident; if that was the case, why all the replays?

VAR, is great when you get the decision, but not so good if it goes against you, so has anything really changed up to this point, considering we are all still having the same disagreements?

Mike Gaynes
69 Posted 03/07/2019 at 17:31:50
Dave #67, with the same due respect I'm guessing you haven't watched hockey in a long time. There are far fewer natural stoppages in hockey than in football -- no throw-ins or free kicks, and fights now are quite rare, about one every four games. Hockey is even more about momentum than footy, yet replay stoppages are universally accepted by players and fans.

Have you been to a football match where VAR was used, or talked to fans who have? I haven't, so I have no way of knowing whether it's "horrible" for them. But I do know first-hand that hockey fans -- and the players and referees as well -- love having a replay system that reduces unjustified outcomes. They put up with the delays as well worth the price of "getting it right".

You're more than entitled to your opinion, but if past sports history is any indication, VAR will eventually be fully accepted as a part of football.

Terry White
70 Posted 03/07/2019 at 17:44:42
Tony (#68), the first time a VAR decision goes against the home team, I think it will be bedlam. especially if it takes a while to make that decision and then it is poorly communicated to the crowd. The greater majority of spectators, in my opinion, will be poorly informed about VAR and its use, so any decision that goes against their team will be disputed in one way or another.

I am with William (#66) regarding players "swarming" officials. I thought that this had been "outlawed" but apparently not when I see the crowd approach a referee who is trying to make, I hope, an unbiased decision. If players do not retreat ,I would produce a yellow card to each and every one of them.

Dave Ganley
71 Posted 03/07/2019 at 17:47:44
Mike you're quite correct in that VAR is here to stay whether we like it or not. It's been a costly and well publicised venture and there is no way that the powers that be will admit failure and take it off the table.

That said, I'm old school and have been going to football for years and like the lack of stoppages during games. I suspect that the younger audience and obviously the TV audience will adore it.

My big issue is that for a good few years now we have mourned the lack of white hot atmosphere at games and that is not endemic to Everton but of all clubs. Slowly clubs are finding ways to create good atmosphere again and I fear that the introduction of VAR will significantly dampen that atmosphere due to lengthy stoppages. I was very frustrated last night watching the game with the delays and that was just on TV, let alone actually being at the game.

I watch hockey occasionally as a mate of mine is bang into it but not often but it is a fast game I agree. Its perhaps the mumblings of someone who just doesn't want this change but I feel it will detract from football. I guess the proof will be in the pudding during the coming season but I fear the worst.

As I said earlier, we on this thread are still arguing about the validity of the decisions last night and if we can't agree how can those delays be justified? I feel it hasn't made things better, just muddied the waters even further.

Ray Robinson
72 Posted 03/07/2019 at 18:00:27
Can I muddy the waters even further by asking two questions?

1. What happens if a dubious decision goes to VAR but not until after the ball has gone up to the other end of the pitch and ended up in the other net? This could happen as play is not always stopped straight away.

2. If a ref actually blows for offside based on a linesman's decision, would it ever be advisable for the attacking side to carry on play just in case VAR reverses the offside decision?

Mike Gaynes
73 Posted 03/07/2019 at 18:13:49
Dave #71, I have no doubt we will see examples of "the worst" during the upcoming season. The first lap around with a new video review system is always chaotic, as we have seen at the Women's World Cup. I'm just saying that five years on we will look back and be pleased with the change. I base that prediction on what has happened in every other sport where this has happened. There are still grumbles and controversies, but there's essentially no one left who would take out replay and go back to the old way.

Tony #68, it took three very slow-motion replays and a head's up from John Pierce on the live forum before I spotted the contact myself. It was quick and partially hidden. But even through my US partisan eyes, once I saw it, it was clear, and VAR got it right.

Terry White
74 Posted 03/07/2019 at 18:49:08
Ray (#72) the answers, I think, are:

1. The VAR will take place after the play stops and can reverse the "goal" at the other end of the pitch. The first decision will supersede the second.

2. The linesman (or 4th official) has been instructed NOT to raise the flag for offside until the play is over. So, in your instance, play would continue until it is ended, and only then with the VAR check for offside if necessary.

Over to you, Mike G.

John Pierce
75 Posted 03/07/2019 at 18:49:52
Mike, I'm with you to a point re hockey. Those stoppages were a free for all until they penalized the coach for an incorrect offside call, with a two-minute power play. It stopped fishing expeditions and the worm hole that surrounds offside in hockey.

The point is hockey has given the officials confidence to make calls without the artificial intervention that VAR has. For me VAR stays with smaller scope and under a challenge system, from the players to prevent a huge injustice, eg, Henry's handball vs Ireland.

Steve Carse
76 Posted 03/07/2019 at 18:52:54
Like the advent of all-seater stadiums, VAR is in many ways hard to argue against – but again like all-seater stadiums, it sure as hell will further deflate atmosphere and the general attractions of the sport.
On the matter of clarification of VAR 'guidelines', can anyone tell me how far back a VAR review can go when an offside is at issue?

Would a Manchester City goal, scored after 50 passes and 5 minutes of unbroken possession, be chalked off if the first pass saw the recipient offside but undetected by the linesman? If it's not going to be the whole of a scoring move that is to be reviewed then how far back should the VAR official take it? Only the last pass? The penultimate pass? Three, four, five passes back?

(And please don't provide an answer that includes an explanation in which the non-sensical term 'final phase' is used.)

Tony Abrahams
77 Posted 03/07/2019 at 18:52:54
I think a riot, or people might just walk out the stadium, Terry... possibly both?

I could argue the English girl approached the ball all wrong, Mike, and that's why this very, very, very slight contact has sent her sprawling?

No good arguing though, because once a decision has been made, it becomes final, and that's why I think this VAR, needs looking at properly now, because it just doesn't feel right at the minute.

John Pierce
78 Posted 03/07/2019 at 18:57:34
Steve, it's around phases of play and a clear change of possession. Can't recall the exact wording but yes technically I think you can go back that far under one phase as you describe.
Ray Robinson
79 Posted 03/07/2019 at 19:12:26
Terry #74, if you're right on the first point, this will cause a riot in the stadium and if you're right on the second point, the linesman and referee will be scared to take any marginal decision on offside (the vast majority of them). VAR will be used in all instances not just exceptional cases. Mmmm.
Terry White
80 Posted 03/07/2019 at 19:18:25
Where is the VAR to help if play is stopped for an offside or other call and then the replay available to all TV watching fans, but not in the stadium, shows that the call was wrong, ie, the player given offside to stop play was actually onside? How long before something is introduced to stop play again and correct this?
John McFarlane Snr
81 Posted 03/07/2019 at 19:55:11
Hi Terry [80] I will be 81 in 12 days time, so it will come as no surprise to you that I regard myself as old school. VAR, in my opinion, will sound the death knell of football. The TV audience may well welcome VAR's introduction, but I believe that attending games will be less enjoyable.

There were (and always will be) debatable decisions, for example, the Clive Thomas debacle in 1977, but we learned to live with the injustice. He was the only one who saw an infringement, but to remove the human element from the game is a backward step.

The laws of the game apply to all, including clubs, at a lower level than the Premier League, who do not have VAR, nor can they afford it. Presumably they will be expected to soldier on as usual, there is obviously an uneven playing field.

Terry White
82 Posted 03/07/2019 at 20:07:57
I fear you may be right, John (#81), certainly the game as we have known (and loved?) it for so many years will have changed forever.
Dave Abrahams
83 Posted 03/07/2019 at 20:37:48
John Mac (81), John your last paragraph brings up an interesting point ; will VAR be used in all FA Cup games next season?
Eric Paul
84 Posted 03/07/2019 at 20:47:11
The refs and assistants should wear head cams and only their view should be used in the event they missed an infringement. Otherwise, we are just sanitising the game to the point where it's an exact science to be viewed after the fact with all stoppages removed.
Eric Paul
85 Posted 03/07/2019 at 20:50:18
And it should be played on the screens for the crowd to see.
John McFarlane Snr
86 Posted 03/07/2019 at 22:57:50
Hi again Dave [83] I think the answer to your question is certainly not, I believe it will be the same as last term., some ties will feature VAR, others playing under the same laws of the game, will be denied the luxury? of VAR, because of their position in the League/Non- League structure.
Peter Mills
87 Posted 03/07/2019 at 23:47:04
And now tonight, a clear penalty for Sweden but no award or review, seemingly, because nobody appealed.
Derek Thomas
88 Posted 04/07/2019 at 01:33:24
The Rules state Referee controls the game and his decision is final. VAR does not.

What we have here is the VAR 'tail' wagging the Referee 'dog'.

VAR is not there to pull the Referee on what he missed or 'saw wrongly' - again; The Rules basically state The Referee is 'right' even when, he makes a mistake and was in fact 'wrong.' This is what we seem to have now.

The Referee should decide if he needs VAR to Re-see what he thought he saw.

Tail > Wag > Dog = Wrong.

Tony Abrahams
89 Posted 04/07/2019 at 08:01:58
Happy 4th of July, to all our “American friends” on ToffeeWeb today.

“TO THE LAND OF THE FREE, AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE” with not a punchline in sight...! Have a great day gentlemen.

Francis van Lierop
90 Posted 04/07/2019 at 09:48:06
The Dutch won the 'other' semi-final..
It was a tight affair, a shot from distance by Jackie Groener in extra-time decided it.
Jamie Crowley
91 Posted 04/07/2019 at 14:15:48
TY Tony! Grilling, beer, burgers, hotdogs, fireworks. Your Happy Birthday America eats and to do list.
Jack Convery
92 Posted 05/07/2019 at 16:08:33
The team managers should have 2 reviews per game and keep each review they request unless its a wrong intervention ie what they are claiming happened actually did not. This prevents the VAR people stopping the ref and telling them to look at something as only the managers would be responsible. If a player really believes someone was offside or they should have had a penalty then the manager has a decision to make not someone sitting in a camper van in the Midlands. A wrong intervention could be penalised by giving the opposition a corner to stop bogus reviews. A review would only be granted once the ball had gone dead. As Sergie says SIMPLEs.

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