VAR. Hand, offside, red card, what are the rules? - Soccer

VAR. Hand, offside, red card, what are the rules? - Soccer

Once again, the use of VAR was controversial Monday night.
Once again, the use of VAR was controversial Monday night. (AFP photo)

Video support, more commonly known as VAR, has revolutionized professional football. Each week, it brings controversies, between skeptics and fans, to make you forget the essential: the VAR is governed by the strict laws of the IFAB (the Board of FIFA). Decryption of laws causing the most controversy.

Some arbitration decisions can be frustrating, cruel or even breaking dreams. The examples are legion but to avoid any form of controversy, the IFAB updates every season the rules governing football. These "laws of the game" available in PDF format, of more than 228 pages, define with a meticulous precision each potential made of game. Among the 17 laws composing this bible of the arbitration, two are often at the heart of the controversy: the Law 11 of the offside and the 12 on the mistakes and incorrectness, relating to the hands and the cards.


If we refer to law 11, a player is in an offside position if any part of the head, body or feet is, in the opposing half, closer to the line the ball and the penultimate opponent (goalkeeper + defender in the majority of cases). Important fact that we tend to forget, the hands and arms of all players, including goalkeepers, are not taken into account.
Another subtlety involving a degree of interpretation by the referee: when does the player play a game? The teammate must take an active part in the game by intervening (he plays the ball) or by interfering with an opponent, clearly influencing his ability to play the ball.

Example: The offside of Aguero at Manchester City-Tottenham in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Bernardo Silva against the ball, which allows the Argentine to continue his action. However, Silva, through his intentional intervention, did play action by interfering with an opponent and influencing his ability to play the ball.

Touch the ball of the hand

The hand follows a deliberate contact with the ball. The following criteria must then be taken into account and subject to the arbitrator's degree of interpretation:
– The movement of the hand towards the ball (and not the ball towards the hand).
– The distance between the opponent and the ball (surprise effect).
– The contact surface. The position of the hand does not necessarily result in a fault.

Example: Kimpembe's hand in the eighth-final return between PSG and Manchester United. The hands are often subject to the referee's interpretation. In this case, Mr. Skomina judged that the Frenchman's hand was heading towards the ball and that he was far enough away to avoid the surprise effect. The problem is that he applied the regulation after reviewing the action in slow motion, not at real speed.

The red card

Three nuances determine the seriousness of a fault and the sanction that accompanies it:

– "Mégarde": the player disputes the ball without attention or respect, or acts without precaution. No disciplinary sanction is necessary.

– "Imprudence": the player acts without taking into account the dangerous nature or consequences of his act for his opponent. He must be warned.

– "Violence": the player makes excessive use of force at the risk of endangering the physical integrity of his opponent. It must be excluded.

The example: The extremely aggressive and violent tackle, in 2007, Cyril Rool under the colors of Nice on his Monaco counterpart Leandro Cufre during the Riviera derby. Red was no longer an option.

Although accurate and strictly enforced through VAR, these laws remain widely criticized or questioned. For example, the IFAB is currently considering modifying or clarifying some of them for next season.

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.