Lazio had their fair share of VAR controversy during the season. Sadly it is not hard to think about “what could have been…” if Lazio had not been as unfortunate as they were with many refereeing decisions.
The stand out situations are: Kolarov’s penalty in the first derby, a mis-called penalty against Torino followed by a harsh red card on Immobile, and the hand ball when Cutrone scored for Milan. Not to forget, there is also a dubious handball by Skriniar in Lazio’s first game against Inter.
In these. and many more situations, the referees seemed to not check for any wrongdoings and that created much confusion and controversy. It even led to a few Lazio supporters suing referees Giacomelli and Di Bello that were involved in the Lazio-Torino game.
The IFAB (International Football Association Board) who is to ‘serve the world of football as the independent guardian of the Laws of the Game’, recently came out with some rule changes. One of them was that players that use the “VAR-gesture” of forming a TV-screen will be cautioned and coaches and off field players and staff will be sent off if they interfere in the VAR zone of the pitch.
Referee designator Nicola Rizzoli says the objective of VAR ‘is not to eliminate controversy, but rather the big and glaring errors, not all the situations that leave room for interpretation” – he explained at the University of Napoli Federico II – “That’s because controversy is part of Italian culture and sport. It’s what gives sport its beauty. We’re all fans, Coaches and referees. The objective is to eliminate errors.”
“I’m extremely pleased above all for the prospects for the future – Rizzoli said – because the margins for improvement are certainly important and we can and must work harder. We have things to improve but we are extremely happy for the future. To remove the ifs and but there is already a protocol that is very clear. It is still editable and improvable. The control room is a goal, I do not know when it will be ready “, continued Rizzoli. He then confirmed the request to the IFAB of the VAR to be called by the coaches: “We asked the IFAB the possibility for the coaches to request the intervention of the VAR twice during a match”.