For my project I have looked at the current state of technology in sport and in particular, the current state of the video replay system in football. Introduced in 2016, the ‘VAR’ (Video Assistant Referee) was implemented to ensure correct decisions were made. However, because of its implementation, it has brought upon a sense of confusion and longer stoppages in play. Fans are unable to celebrate goals until the VAR has checked it and therefore has had an impact on the overall atmosphere at football games.  The implementation of VAR is affecting the beauty of the game, however, it is also affecting the decisions being made.  

In BBC’s poll which questioned whether the VAR system was improving or ruining the game, 40% of fans answered that the referee system was making football worse. Whilst this provides an accurate glimpse on how the VAR system has been received in Britain, the VAR system has been proven to have increased the correct decisions being made. So, what will football look like in five years’ time? Will there be VAR? Or is it a piece of technology that is inevitably here to stay? 


Through studying the media futures subject I have realised that technology is most definitely here to stay. Science Fiction films which study future media predict that technology will be a part of our near and great future, whether it has negative or positive effects towards it. Social effects of technology is seen in films such as Metropolis and Blade Runner. This can connect to the implementation of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) as the introduction of the piece of technology has socially divided fans as to whether it is improving or ruining the game. However, as the VAR has been proven to correct more decisions than not, I believe the VAR will remain in the game. Yet this doesn’t mean that the system can be altered and corrected to end all negatives promoted by it.

Using Wendell’s Bell’s elements of future studies, I believe that I can present a projection of the short term future of football as well as possible alternative actions and desirable futures which may come to fruition.


In my last blog I provided a summary of the issues of the video assistant referee system in football. Since it’s implementation, issues have arisen from longer and more stoppages in plays, incorrect decisions and increased confusion. I analysed these issues and provided evidence from statistics and fan polls as to why these issues were so significant within football’s fan base. When interpreting the current and past state of the VAR, It’s hard not to make the conclusion that fans believe that it’s ruining rather than improving the game of football.


With the current reality of football, technology and in particular the ‘VAR’ has created controversy. It has been a significant point of discussion since its implementation, and without intervention, will only continue towards the future. A projected future with the current state of VAR as a system aiming to correct mistakes made in football, is a tumultuous future full of confusion and irritation. As fans, we will have to get used to the fact that football headlines will be directed towards VAR mistakes rather than who scored and who played well. We will lose the overall beauty of football and FIFA will continue to spend money towards new technologies aiming to correct the technologies and softwares already implemented.


“Football is all too often a reflection of society, highlighting all the great things while reluctantly baring the ugly truths of its imperfections”.

By implementing the VAR and the softwares which come with it, we have gotten rid of football’s imperfections. Referees have been undermined by match officials who are now reviewing most referee decisions on the field. Yes, correct decisions are being made, however, such imperfections which have been negated, are an aspect of football that we have learnt to love and get used to. A future without technology will allow for football to regain its beauty and will also allow for referees to regain their freedom.

Fans will also be able to watch football without confusion or the possibility to be bothered by any stoppages. This will only make football more attractive to watch and will make it much more popular.

Players will also play with more freedom. With the current nature of the game, legends such as Ronaldo and Messi will diminish. This is an audacious statement to make, however, players of this generation are seemed to be chained by the shackles of technology. Great goals and offsides are being corrected by the shortest of margins. Players simply don’t have the same amount of freedom as they did ten years ago and this will effect the ability for football to produce amazing talent.

On the other hand, as VAR has proven to make more correct decisions, there would be an influx of incorrect decisions being made. There also may be conflict as to whether the game needs technology back. Footballs fans will have to decide whether they would prefer correct decisions being made or the beautiful game back to full form with the possibility of an incorrect decision now and then.


Due to the implication of the VAR system, speculation towards whether the system is valid and needed is high. Yet, technology will be a key part of our future, not only with how we live our lives, but how we consume our entertainment. My projected short term future involves VAR as a key part of football, even with my comments made above about how it is ruining the beauty of the game.

I do believe there are ways in which football can regain its beauty by alternating the way in which technology identifies mistakes made on the field. Intervention of the VAR can bring a halt to the negatives which are currently at the peak of our game.


FIFA is already looking to alternate the offside ruling with an automated offside technology which will give an automated and quick ruling of any offside player. Former Arsenal coach and now FIFA’s head of football development, Arsene Wenger, has told the media that FIFA have experimented with automated offside rulings recently and will look to implement this technology in next year’s 2022 world cup. This in itself shows that FIFA is already looking for ways to better current technologies being used.

It is a positive that change is starting to happen. It’s obvious that a large consensus of players, coaches and fans are unhappy with the current use of the VAR system.


As said above, I see no option for FIFA and football to withdraw from their current view and use of technology. With the world continuing to change and evolve with technology, sport will be no different. However, as FIFA looks to upgrade the current technology, a positive future for players, coaches and fans can be foreseen. I do not speak for any external factors to technology including football’s economic factors and social factors, however, in regards to football’s future with technology, I see it being utilised into the short term future.

As a fan, I am excited to see what the future of football has for us. A game which we love and show great passion for will always be popular around the world.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

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