Recently, the Viennese was particularly often in a clinch with the referees. “Coaches make mistakes, players make mistakes, and referees make mistakes too,” said Pacult. “But what must not happen is that video assistants make mistakes, and that has happened far too often. It can’t be that there’s heated discussion and arguments after every round. It just needs clear, understandable guidelines. When does the VAR intervene, when not.” Pacult’s suggestion: “I would reduce it to a goal or no goal and leave everything else to the referee on the field.”
A suggestion also came from Austria sports director Manuel Ortlechner. “I would just wish our referees had more courage with regard to a live check on the sidelines.” Rapid coach Zoran Barisic, on the other hand, stated: “I think that one should start with social skills and there is a need for improvement here.” Hartbergs Markus Schopp locates “enormous potential for improvement in the interaction between referee and VAR”.
“There is an urgent need for action”
WAC coach Manfred Schmid is also not too good at talking to the video assistant. “The fact is that no one is happy with it. Neither the fans, nor the coaches, nor the players – and, as a highlight, not even the referees themselves. There is an urgent need for action.” However, he is aware that not all problems can be solved by the VAR. “Even when it comes to optimization, there will still be decisions worth discussing – but mistakes as clear as the last one should simply not happen.”
Salzburg’s sports director Christoph Freund, on the other hand, described the VAR as an “absolutely sensible facility”. The majority of the decisions made are correct and not only help the referees, but also football as a whole. “But we still have areas that need adjustments, where bad decisions have also been made due to poor communication. In any case, there still needs to be improved.”
Emotions at goals are lost
LASK trainer Dietmar Kühbauer still has so many bad whistle in his stomach in the past few months. “Far too often after games we talk about decisions instead of football. That has to change again, but it is not our responsibility.” Ried trainer Maximilian Senft did not want to comment, referring to his short term in office. Altach’s Klaus Schmidt saw improvements in offside decisions, but complained about difficulties in interpreting the hand rule and foul situations.
Austria Lustenau’s Markus Mader came up with another point of criticism. “What bothers me the most is the fact that you can no longer be emotionally happy about a goal because everything is being checked and maybe there was an offense somewhere on the pitch two minutes earlier. Then you are just afraid and start hoping and praying.”
WSG Tirol trainer Thomas Silberberger in turn broke a lance for the referees. “All in all, they do a good job in Austria. Constant criticism of the referees is useless, but it’s the easiest valve to use to get rid of frustration,” said the 49-year-old. Sturm Graz coach Christian Ilzer also showed restraint. “There are people responsible for the referee’s performance, so I assume that these people analyze the performance just as professionally or initiate processes for improvement as we do in our areas,” said the Styrian.