Tuesday August 13 2019
Rocchi: 'VAR is a safety net'

Gianluca Rocchi warned VAR should be used as “a safety net for officials, but the referee must always make the decision.”

The technology was introduced in Serie A two years ago, while it is now also in the Premier League and the Champions League knockout stages.

“If I’d had VAR in my day, I would’ve avoided many sleepless nights,” confessed experienced referee Rocchi to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 45-year-old officiated the Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal in May and has 246 Serie A games under his belt.

“The truth is, when a referee makes a mistake, he really does suffer, but it’s the best way to help him improve. VAR is to be considered more like a safety net, something to avoid serious damage.

“However, it must be used in the right way. VAR has to support the referee, not the other way around. The man on the field remains central and he has to do the officiating, he must make the decisions and take responsibility, without hesitation.

“That is how you make VAR marginal. Otherwise, we put too much pressure on the colleague in the VAR booth and cause him huge problems.

“We are also not in competition with technology, as we are human beings and the rapport with players on the pitch is just as important.

“Designator Nicola Rizzoli keeps hammering everyone on the importance of the referee making the decisions and I agree.”

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