FC Augsburg boss Klaus Hofmann criticises VAR

When VAR was introduced two years ago the DFB was adamant about the fact that video refereeing should make football more just. After two years with controversial decisions many fans would disagree. The discussion, it seems, has moved on from what the referee on the pitch has done wrong to what the people sitting in the basement in Cologne have failed to spot.

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FC Augsburg president Klaus Hofmann was highly critical of the current use of the video technology during the club’s annual general assembly. The 51-year-old stated that football can be more just if the technology is used correctly, but that he wasn’t a fan of how VAR has been used so far:

“In many cases it simply takes the joy out of football, given that one has to wait for several minutes before a decision is made. Why doesn’t one use the technology in a reasonable and good manner?”

Hofmann proposes three changes

If changes aren’t made, the 51-year-old thinks that VAR should be abolished all together. However, there are three simple things the DFL and DFB could do to get rid of the everlasting debate over the use of VAR according to Hofmann:

1. The technology should only be used if there is a clear error on hand according to FCA’s president. Critics of VAR have stated that boarderline decisions are often times questioned and re-examined, taking the flow out of the game.

2. Hofmann isn’t a fan of the referee taking a second glance himself. If a mistake is made and spotted by the people sitting in Cologne, the ref should be informed instead of having a look at the pictures himself. Hofmann asked the AGA rethorically:

“Does he (the referee) really recognise things more correctly with the sun coming onto the screen and infront of 60 000 screaming spectators than those four, fourteen or twenty-four people sitting in the video basement in Cologne?”

3. Finally, the wrong decision in question should be shown to spectators on the video screens of the stadiums. “The atmosphere wouldn’t get more agressive. There’s no argument against doing so”, Hofmann told the FCA club members.

If those changes were to be implemented, Hofmann would see a brighter future for the use of VAR. He said:

“With those changes the video assist would be sustainable. Otherwise we could simply get rid of the concept sooner or later.” 

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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