After what seems decades of talking about using video referees in football, the technology finally made its mark on Tuesday night when it was used to right two wrongs in Spain’s 2-0 friendly win over France in Paris.
Despite other sports such as cricket and rugby using video technology without problems for years, it has taken football far too long to enter the 21st century.
Well, now it’s here and it’s use at the Stade de France was one of several FIFA trials with a view to it being rolled out on a larger scale.
First, it was used to cancel out Antoine Griezmann’s 48th header after Layvin Kurzawa was ruled offside in the build up.
Great example of why video refereeing needs to become a thing. Griezmann's goal correctly called back for offside pic.twitter.com/6DK0byt5Vq
— Terje (@TerjeAFCx) March 28, 2017
Then, a little bit later a replay showed that Gerard Deulofeu was actually onside when he scored what turned out to be Spain’s second goal after he was initially flagged for offside.
Video tech at work in football:
Video assistant referee overruled the offside decision and allowed Gerard Deulofeu's goal against France ? pic.twitter.com/SKiSpl3OuP
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) March 28, 2017
Both decisions took around 30 seconds to confirm, with a minimum of fuss and thankfully an overwhelmingly positive response from tweeps around the world.
The video referee has made one appearance in a big European game – I know it was a friendly – and already proved its worth. Not surprising
— Hayden Barry (@haydenbarry1997) March 29, 2017
Thrilled to see the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) being used on Spain vs France, righting two big wrongs. It’s a big step forward.
— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) March 28, 2017
Video referee called upon in France-Spain, Griezmann's lovely 'goal' rightly ruled offside. No recriminations, no fuss, no problem.
— Philippe Auclair (@PhilippeAuclair) March 28, 2017
so the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was used on Spain vs France, even righting two wrongs…
— Changala (@Changala_) March 28, 2017
Initially sceptical, glad to hear the video referee worked well in France vs Spain tonight. Anything effective to help referees is welcome.
— Adam Gray (@AdamGray1250) March 28, 2017
But of course, not everyone was a fan
Personally feel #videoreferee will take away huge entertainment factor. More respect for the officials actual decision is a better way
— Ryan (@RyLee89) March 28, 2017
But when Didier Deschamps, the man on the wrong end of both decisions, praises the VAR system, then you know it’s inevitable.
— FlaShBloG (@FlaShBloGWorld) March 28, 2017
All we need to ask now is why did it take so long?