Video proof was introduced some time ago in the Bundesliga, the European and World Championships and in Champions and Europa League, so it should soon be common practice. While, just recently at the World Championship in Russia, some positive examples for the use of video evidence were seen, the negative examples have to be recognized as well.

In the Bundesliga, unfortunately, video proof hasn’t really gone well so far. This is at least partly due to the fact that the video proof has only been used in one season so far and is therefore still new for all participants. Here we will discuss what changes will probably occur in the Bundesliga as a result of external impartiality.

The History of Video Evidence

The forerunner of video evidence was goal-line technology. But even this did not exist very long before it was abolished again. It was only shortly after the European Football Championship in 2012 that FIFA decided to introduce goal-line technology. Technical aids are used to check whether the ball has completely crossed the goal line and whether a goal can therefore be recognised. These include, for example, the Hawk-Eye system from tennis and the GoalControl system with the same design, both of which are based on a goal camera. The GoalRef system has also been approved, which allows a locating chip to be located in the ball for exact position determination.

The Introduction of the Video Evidence

The video evidence had been under discussion for some time before it was finally introduced. It has been tested in several competitions in recent years. These include, for example, the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons of the Dutch league, the 2017 Confed Cup and the 2017/18 season in the German Bundesliga. It was not until 2018, however, that the International Football Association Board (IFAB) decided to officially introduce video evidence into the rules of the game. However, the regional associations remain free to decide whether they wish to use the video proof in their respective leagues.

Thereupon the way was clear for the use of the video proof with the football world championship of this year. Here you have seen some good and unfortunately also some less good examples for the use of the video proof so far. In this tournament, there is one video referee for each match and three video assistant referees who can intervene in the match and advise the referee in his work.

How the Video Evidence Works

The great innovation associated with the introduction of video evidence is that the decisions of the first referee are now directly contestable. He and the Linesmen are supported by an external body, which has the advantage that it can look directly at what has happened again.

Areas of Application of the Video Referee

The video referee can intervene in four different situations. Of course, this includes whether a goal counts or not. Here, for example, the video assistant can check whether someone was offside or whether the ball was completely in the goal. The video referee is also used for penalty kicks and when red cards are dealt. His contribution to the identification of the correct player, if for example, fouls have to be punished, is also not insignificant.

Criticism of Video Referee

Both during the discussion on the introduction of the video referee and now that it is already in use, criticism of the new technology was often voiced. Especially at the beginning of the use of the video referee it was often the case that quite a long time passed before a decision was made. As a result, the players and spectators had a longer idle period in which they had to wait, and as a result there were unusually long stoppages.

Prominent Wrong Decisions

Even if the video assistant should generally lead to more fairness in football, this hoped-for effect did not occur at first. Despite the new technology, wrong decisions continued to be made, which were followed by heated discussions in the media.

Fouls

These include a debate about a foul in the preliminary round match between Germany and Cameroon in the 2017 Confed Cup in which Ernest Mabouka from Cameroon committed a normal foul. The referee on the field, however, initially showed another Cameroonian player the yellow card. After a first video proof, this wrongly accused player saw the red card for the foul. Only after a second video evidence the referee identified Mabouka as the culprit in this case and showed him the red card. However, this was not considered appropriate by spectators and fans of both teams.

Also due to a gate there were already heated discussions about the video evidence. For example, in a game in the Bundesliga on 17 September 2017 between Borussia Dortmund and 1 FC Köln, the Cologne team appealed against the score of the game because, in their view, the video referee had interfered in the game in an inadmissible manner. In the relevant case, the referee had already whistled before the ball reached the Cologne goal. After seeing the video evidence, the referee gave the Borussia goal. However, the Cologne-based company withdrew the complaint before it could be negotiated, as they considered their chances of success to be low. In addition, they would have lost the game even if the goal had not been recognized.

Issues Relating to the Video Evidence

The current areas of application of the video referee have already been discussed above. However, similar situations are always associated with criticism, and in the meantime, the question has already been asked what concrete benefit the video referee would have at the end of the day if he repeatedly made mistakes similar to those made by a normal referee.

For example, a foul may not be detected in the penalty area in a complicated situation and the team may not be given the penalty it is entitled to. It may also happen that a swallow in the penalty area is not recognized as such in a crowded room, which is why the team is given a penalty because of the deception of their player. Goals, on the other hand, are given correctly in almost all cases on the basis of video evidence, because you can see exactly where the ball was when. Formal errors such as the situation described above are not the fault of the video referee.

Changes in the Bundesliga Due to the Video Evidence

In general, the introduction of the video referee is associated with the hope that the decisions of the impartial in general will be fairer. This hope is based on the fact that every decision can be checked by the video evidence and can also only be made with a delay. So it should be comprehensible for everyone.

Advantages for Clubs and Players

What is clear is that with the video evidence, those involved have a good basis for challenging unfair decisions. That was already there before, because all the football matches are recorded, but with the video evidence there is now more material on which they can rely. The big advantage for the clubs and players, however, is that – if the video proof works as hoped – you rarely have to initiate the expensive and time-consuming process of a challenge.

Changes for Spectators

For the viewers, however, the video proof doesn’t really change anything. At the most, they will have to wait longer for a hopefully fair decision on controversial issues. However, this does not detract from the atmosphere in the stadium. Even for those viewers who bet, the video proof does not change anything, as the details dealt with in the video proof are usually not relevant here. You can find out more about betting at betting.org, where the most important betting portals and modes are presented.