Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur England
Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur England

England have progressed to the Round of 16 of the World Cup and it’s fair to say that Gareth Southgate’s side had one of the easier runs to the knockout stages.

While Harry Kane and Co. glided through the Group Stages there was one minor controversy during England’s game against Tunisia when the referee failed to award a penalty after Harry Kane was manhandled in the penalty box.

And this incident was the centre of many debates especially after the VAR was not brought into play and many people started pointing fingers at the referee as well as FIFA.

Now though, Pierluigi Collina who is currently the head of the Referees Committee has come out to claim that they have learned a lot from the mistakes made why using the VAR and in turn have been better at making decisions.

Collina said“You might have appreciated there were some incidents that suddenly disappeared or started to be punished.

“It’s impossible to be right from the start but because we noticed, we intervened and we fine-tuned. Things have changed during the tournament.

“We were aware VAR could interrupt the flow of play and time could be lost, so we wanted as few interventions as possible,

“But we noticed there were a few complaints – understandable complaints – about maybe doing more on-field reviews, so we thought it would be a good idea to do that so the decisions were better accepted on the field.”

In general, referees have given 95% current decisions during the games but as soon as the VAR is brought into that equation the percentage shoots up to 99.3%

“We have always said VAR doesn’t mean perfection – there could still be the wrong interpretation or a mistake – but I think you would agree 99.3 per cent is very close to perfection,” Collina added.

The six-time ‘Referee of the Year’ also spoke on whether FIFA should make the conversations between the referee and the VAR public.

“Before running you have to learn to walk. I don’t know what’s possible in the future but I think it’s a bit early for that now,” he said.

“I agree it would be interesting, though, and would perhaps make decisions better accepted by the football community.”

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