Iranian football needs VAR as well as cultural enhancement
TEHRAN – The lack of modern technology in Iranian football has become evident after some questionable decisions in recent weeks by the Iranian Professional League (IPL).
IPL referees have come under fire for some of their calls in recent matches, and it shows that the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology to assist referees is needed.
The Tehran derby result was overshadowed by complaints about the refereeing decisions, especially from Esteghlal’s coaches, players and supporters who believed they should have been awarded a penalty in the third minute of the game. However, Persepolis has also objected to some decisions by referee Mohamadreza Akbarian, posting videos that show a penalty in their favor was ignored.
This is not the first time, and will not be the last, that a controversy has arisen over arbitration decisions. However, former elite referee Navid Mozafari believes that VAR is not the only solution as there are cultural issues in Iranian football.
“First of all, VAR needs a budget, an infrastructure and a training program. But above that, we must note that the pressures on our referees are more due to cultural issues than technical issues. In the VAR, we have a video operating room which includes referees. Do you think the Iranian coaches and players will accept the decisions made by the VAR team?
“Yes, VAR’s philosophy is to correct clear and obvious mistakes, but the major problem in Iranian football is a bad culture that the staff of a team oppose any decision of the referee and blame him when they do. lose a match, ”said Mozafari.
“In previous years, we had great referees like Mohsen Torki and Masoud Moradi who took charge of the matches, and we had a lot less controversy. In addition, we had a strong and decisive disciplinary committee in the football federation which dealt with any unfair behavior or abuse on the part of football coaches and players.
“Let me stress once again that VAR is useful to us. Yet in the current situation, with a third of its cost (the cost of using VAR for a season is estimated at $ 6.2 million), much of the officiating issues can be resolved. We have to solve the cultural problem, and otherwise, even with VAR, the problems will continue, ”he concluded.