Confederations Cup: Chile’s love and hate towards VAR

The Latin American country had an incident at the final of this tournament hosted by Russia

 Chile Video Assistant Referee

At this year's Confederations Cup, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was released. The technology aims to help the main referee in difficult decisions like clarifying offsides, penalty incidents, goals, and red-card offenses.

In the finale, Chile faced Germany and was defeated 1- 0 but what remained in every spectator’s mind was the yellow card that Serbian referee, Milorad Mazic, gave Gonzalo Jara in the 61st minute. The Chilean player thrust his left elbow onto Timo Werner´s face. At first, it only seemed to be a theatrical move from the German player but later Mazic was called by the VAR arbitrators to give the incident a second look.

During some time, while Mazic was inspecting the different angles that the video provided, Jara was looking at his fellow team player goalkeeper Claudio Bravo knowing that the foul could expel him from the game.

After three minutes, the Serbian referee declared that the contact between the two players was indeed an aggression from to Jara to Werner. Regularly, this type of incidents would unfold in a red card but Mazic declared that it was going to be a yellow card, giving social media something to talk about.

In that same match, another other Chilean player was involved in a VAR-related situation. Alexis Sánchez, in the minute 76th, ran into Sebastian Rudy and was asking for a second look at the incident with the video replay. Mazic correctly ignored the allegations of a penalty but the bench didn't like the verdict. Situations like this in which the bench, or players themselves, ask for a revision of the foul will become more frequent.

Other Latin American teams were splashed by the VAR controversy, like Mexico. In the match against Portugal, Pepe thought he had scored against the North American team but the referee, Nestor Pitana with the help of the system, ruled it out. The game ended 2 - 2 but Portugal´s Coach Fernando Santos was very unhappy with the result.

FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino, before the final, stated that VAR has been “a great success” but it needed some work in the matter of speeding the process. We will soon know if this technology will be fixed and used at the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.


Latin American Post | Mariana Sandoval 

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto 

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