At Schalke 04, the VAR frustration remains great after the opening defeat in the Bundesliga against Cologne. Now sports director Peter Knäbel has also criticized the VAR in clear words. The 55-year-old calls for changes.
“If there are department store detectives sitting in the basement and looking for a picture in which you can prove some guilt, then the values of the game are not respected,” complained Knäbel in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The referees would have to “emancipate” themselves more from the video assistant, he demanded. “The understanding of roles in the interaction between the VAR and the on-site referee is often no longer correct. I mean: the referees must be the decision-makers again, they must not allow themselves to be influenced in this way,” he continued.
The reason for the criticism are several decisions by the video assistant in the 1: 3 bankruptcy against 1. FC Köln. Among other things, the goal of the Royal Blues was disallowed for the supposed 1-0 and, according to the video images, Dominick Drexler received a controversial red card from referee Robert Schröder.
“It was obviously not red,” said Knäbel. “All of Mr. Schröder’s statements go in this direction: ‘I can’t get past the pictures,’ he said. But we’ve always been sold that the VAR is just a support for the referee – an assistant. […] But if the future of the game is that individual scenes are analyzed using still images, then it’s not my game anymore.”
Knäbel: “The VAR’s claim to truth is the problem”
“The course of events and the context of the game are more important than the individual image that reflects a specific moment. If the referee explains that he can’t get past the image, then that’s obsession with technology that damages football,” said Knäbel further. “The VAR’s truth claim is the problem.”
Shortly after the game, sports director Rouven Schröder also expressed clear criticism of the VAR. “We were disadvantaged,” said Schröder. “We need a video assistant and not a head referee who doesn’t intervene if there’s no wrong decision.”