The Qatar World Cup has not been without its share of VAR controversy, perhaps most conspicuously in Japan’s winning goal against Spain, scored by Ao Tanaka, which had the consequence of sending Germany home. If we didn’t know it beforehand, this decision alone revealed more clearly than ever that the hand of VAR has far-reaching effects.
In an alternative pre-VAR universe, Japan’s winning goal against Spain would have been disallowed, and Germany would have progressed at Japan’s expense. Would this have been better? Fairer? I don’t know. The problem with VAR is that it still does not provide a definitive Truth. Am I expecting too much? We are venturing into Buddhist territory here: Ultimate Truth versus Conventional Truth.
VAR exists somewhere within the realm of Conventional Truth, while I am demanding of it the enlightenment of Ultimate Truth.
In almost all other aspects of my life, I value Truth as a fundamental and guiding tenet, which underpins and binds together civilisation and humanity. But, when it comes to football, I have come to realise that sometimes I don’t want the truth. In the words of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth.”
Sometimes, I just want the freedom to celebrate a blatant falsehood without having to wait the agonising minutes before the man in black draws a rectangle with his fingers and points towards the centre circle.
© Donnie Blake
Sometimes Donnie Blake can’t handle the truth.
Donnie Blake is the author of the World Cup Detective series of books available on Amazon.