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How VAR is changing the way we enjoy soccer games: World Soccer Talk Podcast

World Soccer Talk is a weekly podcast about watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 129, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• How VAR is changing the way we enjoy soccer games,
• Which legendary soccer presenter is retiring,
• What the Women’s World Cup TV ratings are looking like so far,
• Our thoughts on the Gold Cup action,
• And we have a bunch of letters from you, the listeners, in our mailbag section.

Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.

Send in your questions, comments and feedback via e-mail web@worldsoccertalk.com, via Twitter (@worldsoccertalk) or Facebook. We’ll read them out on-air in the next episode.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. disco george

    June 28, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    YOU GUYS. I gave you the benefit of the doubt last week, but messing up media figures’/former USWNT players’ names for a second podcast in a row is really grating on me.

    Ali Krieger is a defender on the current USWNT — Aly Wagner is the former USWNT midfielder who is calling matches for Fox.

    Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf’s last name isn’t McGrath.

    But Kartik is right when he talks about the best analysis coming from the ‘Seb and Kate’ podcasts on ESPN FC’s feed. The interview with Vero Boquete was great, and I learn something new from every episode.

  2. FlatBackFour

    June 27, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    To your point Monte, the way VAR is being used currently along with the new handball interpretation, we are going to have handball penalties in every game. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that there’s been at least one penalty given in almost every single Women’s World Cup match. Same for the U-21 semifinals today. We’ll have to genetically engineer footballers without any arms.

    • Rover

      June 28, 2019 at 5:30 pm

      Maybe there are some good amputee footballers out there who could be signed as defenders

  3. Monte Reed

    June 27, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    I do not like the new interpretation on hand ball with defenders in the penalty area. If the ball touches the arm of a defender, it is now a penalty regardless if it is “ball to hand” or “hand to ball”. VAR has reviewed several of these.

    • Rover

      June 28, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      And yet VAR was not used in today’s US-FR game despite a clear handball by the Americans, based on the current rules

  4. FlatBackFour

    June 27, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    VAR is horrendous. I know football isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things, but VAR is taking most of the enjoyment I derive from the game. There’s lots of talk about how we need to change the offside law and handball, as well as the shambles of goalkeepers staying on their line in the WWC. Why should we have to rewrite the laws of this simple game just because of VAR? It’s a completely backwards approach. I would accept VAR for offside, but that’s the limit. The rest is a slippery slope that will ruin the game.

  5. JP

    June 27, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    VAR is taking some enjoyment out of soccer the same way replay has in the NFL and NBA. In the NFL you cannot feel comfortable celebrating a big play until waiting a few moments to make sure there is no penalty flag (often thrown late) or for the TV to show the replay so you can be sure nothing will have to be reviewed. The NBA now has absurd video reviews to determine down to the fingernail who touched the ball last going out of bounds and lengthy reviews anytime someone falls to the floor during a foul to see if it warrants a technical foul or ejection, etc. It bogs down the game.

    VAR would work best for offside/onside on goals since that isn’t subjective and can clearly see on the video once they superimpose the line, the ref doesn’t even need to consult the monitor, the VAR crew just tells them good or not. They show the results of the review in Serie A it’s always spot on. The only other time VAR should be used is for OBVIOUS penalties not awarded or cases where a penalty was awarded and CLEARLY shouldn’t have. If it takes VAR more than 10 seconds to buzz the referee to take a look then it fails this criteria, should be noticeable immediately upon review a mistake was made and the ref to take another look and confirm.

    • Rover

      June 28, 2019 at 5:23 pm

      Good points. I hope football does not go down the same slippery slope that NFL/NBA and even MLB are on with replay

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