So not Va(r), the penalty not given to Bologna but not only: from D’Ambrosio to Candreva, all the refereeing blunders in the technological era


By John

The blunder that yesterday united the referee Di Bello and the VAR staff for the penalty not awarded to the rossoblù Ndoye in Juventus-Bologna rightfully enters the list of sensational errors that the introduction of technology in Serie A in 2017/2018 was unable to avoid, despite having greatly reduced the fallibility of the system.
In the first season of use alone, there were over thirty clear and obvious errors that the VAR staff were unable to correct. One of the cases was that of the Crotone-Cagliari match, when three decisions taken by the referee by consulting the slow motion turned out to be wrong, in particular on a goal disallowed for offside against the Calabrians which was instead completely irrelevant.
Among the cases of the following season, we can remember the penalty awarded to Fiorentina against Inter which in full injury time allowed the Viola to draw 3-3: following a cross from Chiesa, D’Ambrosio hit the ball with his chest and Abisso whistled the penalty . Called to the monitor by the VAR staff, the referee did not change his mind, despite the obvious error. In 2021/22, the offside goal validated against Acerbi in Spezia-Lazio remained imprinted, due to a communication problem between Pairetto and the VAR room which led to the suspension of the referee Pairetto and the VAR officer Nasca, but also the clear penalty that was not awarded to Toro for a foul by Inter player Ranocchia on Belotti: for Guida it was not a foul and he was not called back from the VAR room.
Last season, the goal scored by Udogie in Milan-Udinese caused controversy, with the foul by the Bianconeri not highlighted by the referee. In that case, however, according to the designator Rocchi the Var employees were right not to intervene because of the touch, it was not clear from the images. However, technology could do nothing for Serra’s mistake in Milan-Spezia, with the referee’s whistle for a foul in favor of the Rossoneri outside the area which came one second before the goal scored by Messias following the action.
In 2022/23, a striking case was the cancellation of a goal by Milik in Juventus-Salernitana, which would have given the victory to the Bianconeri, due to an alleged offside by Bonucci. The images available, according to the VAR staff, however, did not allow us to notice the position of a Granada player who was keeping Bonucci in the game.
2023/24 didn’t start well. If the seventh year crisis is a cliché linked to married couples, the seventh season of VAR’s use risks making it apply to football too.