The first matchday of the new Serie A season with VAR is in the books, and there was a mixed reaction about it in the Italian football world. Amid all the confusion as everyone gets acclimatized to the new system, the FIGC weighed in as both Carlo Tavecchio and Roberto Rosetti spoke on the radio show Radio Anch’io Sport on Radio Uno.
Carlo Tavecchio, FIGC President:
“I am satisfied with the VAR, even if it will need to be improved a bit to more responsive. When I started talking about it, Infantino was the UEFA president and he helped me a lot. At the time I had a good rapport with Blatter, then we all know what occurred, and he had told me to bring my proposal forward. My letter was dated September 2014, and many were not convinced and skeptical in Italy.”
Tavecchio then went on to discuss possible changes in the future of Italian football, namely reducing Serie A and Serie B to 18 teams, two divisions of 18 teams in Serie C and having playouts in Serie A to determine which team(s) would be relegated, an idea Tavecchio finds very interesting.
Roberto Rosetti, responsible for implementing VAR in Italy
“It was the dawn of a new day, a good start, even if I am the type of person that is never satisfied. We need to continue working to ensure the process keeps improving with time and procedures.”
“There were two situations where VAR changed the referee’s decision correctly. There were other cases where VAR confirmed a correct decision was made, including some goals. Then there was a verification at San Siro of a potentially grave error which the VAR confirmed the referee made the correct call.”
Rosetti goes on to explain that VAR is not a substitute of the referee and patience is needed.
“It is not always easy implementing new changes, we knew there would be a phase of adaptation, optimization of procedures, even the time delays must be reduced and improved. We have a precise objective: eliminate important errors and have a more equitable football. This is year zero, we know there are situations that require improvement. Standing in front of a video is not that easy. After a friendly match in front of 80,000 fans, a VAR operator told me that he was never so tired in his life. It’s a different way of doing things and for this we need time and patience to do things the best way possible.”
In the majority of cases, the players reacted without protest the decisions made by the referee with assistance from VAR.
“It feels like the players are more relaxed, I saw great composure on their part and I was surprised by the reaction of the fans. Saturday I was in Turin, the VAR gave a penalty against Juventus and the fans accepted it.”