Van Boekel, the VAR referee who outrages Barça again

The VAR was introduced to try to make football, the king of controversies and salseo, more fair.

05 October 2022 Wednesday 11:34
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Van Boekel, the VAR referee who outrages Barça again

The VAR was introduced to try to make football, the king of controversies and salseo, more fair. The tool has made it possible to substantially improve refereeing decisions in matches, but it is still imperfect, and sometimes incomprehensible, since it does not completely eliminate human error.

The last team that has had to suffer the inconsistencies of video arbitration has been Barça in Milan. The defeat of the Blaugrana team against Inter at the Giuseppe Meazza is not excused by the refereeing performance, since the staging of Xavi Hernández's team left much to be desired. However, at the same time the evidence cannot be denied: there were two controversial actions that harmed Barça.

The first decision that stunned the Blaugrana was when referee Slavko Vinčić annulled Pedri's goal in the 67th minute at the request of VAR. Ansu Fati's involuntary hand in Onana's clearance after a cross, just before the canary's shot, was punished when since 2021 FIFA had decided to relax the strict regulations on hands.

"At the beginning of the season they explained to us that a player who touches the ball with his hand, if he scores, the goal is not worth it. But if another player touches it with his hand voluntarily, it is a goal. I think Fati's comes from a rebound of Onana", explained Eric Garcia after the match. This is what the regulations stipulate: accidentally touching a ball with the hand that allows a teammate to score is not considered an infraction. In addition, the Barça youth squad did not even manage to divert the trajectory.

In the final stretch, also with Ansu Fati on the play, Denzel Dumfries jumped to deflect a cross and the ball hit him in the hand, well away from the body. Barça took it for granted that the VAR review would end in a maximum penalty, but the Slovenian referee was not even notified to go see the play.

"The referee was not clear about it and we told him to go see it, as he does in the offside (the play in which Eric Garcia makes hands inside the Blaugrana area, annulled by the rival's illegal position). These are decisions that do not we can control, but it is going against us now", added the Catalan defender.

At a press conference, as protagonists that they are, Xavi once again asked that the referees appear to explain their decisions, just as the players or coaches do. "The referee finishes his work and leaves without explaining anything. All this must change because we don't understand anything," the Terrassa coach expressed indignantly.

All eyes are on Pol van Boekel, the VAR assistant on Tuesday night. Interestingly, the Dutchman is the same referee who was in the video arbitration room in the previous match that Barça lost against Bayern (2-0), something unusual.

In that game there were also many complaints from the Blaugrana side considering that there was a resounding penalty by Alphonso Davies on Ousmane Dembélé in the final stretch of the first half at the Allianz Arena, when the score had not yet been opened.

In this case, it is understood that Van Boekel did not notify the referee considering that the entry into the area was interpretable, although the contact seems more than evident. In theory, VAR only intervenes in flagrant actions.

For the moment, the club has confirmed to La Vanguardia that it has no intention of expressing its discomfort with a formal protest, but it will let him know its disagreement with the referee's decisions in a more diplomatic way.



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