Tuesday November 19 2019
Rizzoli: 'VAR to restore credibility'

Referee designator Nicola Rizzoli insists the purpose of VAR is to “restore credibility” but accepts it “has intervened 52 times, which is too much.”

Rizzoli held a meeting with players, coaches and referees on Tuesday to discuss the performance of VAR in Serie A, and the former FIFA official conceded the standard of refereeing had to improve.

“Var wasn’t born to eliminate errors but rather to restore credibility to the most loved sport in the world,” he said.

“We're only in season three and it’ll certainly improve. This season, VAR has intervened 52 times, which is too much.

“It means we’re not refereeing well, although that’s also because the rules have changed.

“There was talk of voluntariness with the old handball rules, now it’s about touch. Today, either we reset this word [handball] or it’ll create problems for us.

“This doesn’t mean that handballs shouldn’t be treated individually, but how many people know the rules?

“Not everyone understood what we said in Coverciano at the start of the season. Maybe we should’ve gone to every club to explain the rules so for this, it’s mea culpa.

“Today’s a crucial day to understand together what we can do more. There are improvements that can be made, but there needs to be knowledge of the VAR protocol.

“We can’t clarify application of the rules if we don’t know what they are, otherwise we’ll create pointless controversy.”

A particular flashpoint this season saw Lecce disallowed a goal from the penalty spot against Lazio after Gianluca Lapadula had encroached, without the kick being retaken.

"The penalty during Lazio-Lecce, if the referee had seen it, would’ve been retaken, no doubt.

“There was a refereeing error, we’re not here to hide. Here, the referee should have applied the rule.

“The VAR did what the protocol entailed and disallowed the goal because Lapadula had entered the penalty area.”

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