Wednesday, November 25 2020


Did we learn nothing from I, Robot?

Update: June, 21/2018 - 09:00
Will Smith in I, Robot. — File Photo
Viet Nam News

By Paul Kennedy

So the World Cup is already one week old and we’ve seen shocks, surprises and plenty of skills.

Paul Kennedy. — VNS Photo Việt Thanh

Brazil were held to a draw by Switzerland. Germany (yes, Germany) lost their opening game versus Mexico and Lionel Messi proved that he is human after all, missing a penalty against Iceland.

And England also got off to a flyer thanks to an injury time winner from Harry Kane.

But the thing that has really got people talking after week one is VAR - the dreaded Video Assistant Referee.

For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past few years, this is the new system that allows match officials to replay constroversial moments to make sure they have made the right decision.

Some say the system is the future and it will weed out inaccuracies and ensure decision making perfect. I don’t agree.

Did we learn nothing from I, Robot? The hit movie starring Will Smith that saw Artifical Intelligence almost take over the world?

Now I’m not suggesting for one minute the introduction of decision making technology at the World Cup will eventually lead to the collaspse of civilasation as we know it, but I do genuinelly feel we are heading down a slippery slope that, if we are not careful, will rip the soul from the sport we love.

Since I have been watching football, and I have the grey hairs to prove the longevity, the game has always been packed with talking points.

You do the maths. How the Iceland team was chosen. — File Photo

Was the goal offside or not? Should the penalty have been given? And why do Manchester United matches always seem to last that little bit longer when they need a goal?

These are the questions that fuel debate and cause heartache and joy for many months after the final whistles has been blown.

Football is a fast paced, passionate affair. It’s not cricket, not rugby and certainly not that game Americans play with helmets and a ball shaped like an egg.

The introduction of VAR slows the game down and takes away talking points. Sure, we can sit and debate after games the decisions made, but it just wont be the same.

And where does it end? Was that a slight shove on the halfway line? Check VAR. Who did the ball touch before going out for a throw-in? VAR knows. And did Luis Suarez just a bite out of an opposing players shoulder? As the Video Assistant Referee.

Many believe VAR is the future, and maybe it is, but at what cost? — VNS


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