offside, handball, and VAR

Nobody, and I mean nobody, in the world of soccer knows what the offside rule is. Nobody, and I mean nobody, in the world of soccer knows what the handball rule is. What’s called offside in one match will be called onside in another; handball calls are if anything even more arbitrary. And VAR seems to have increased rather than decreased the inconsistency of rulings.

Consequently, the players cannot adjust either their expectations or their performance to meet the ever-changing rules, because changes in the rules don’t affect how calls are actually made, by officials or by VAR.

The only logical response to this ongoing farce is to eliminate VAR. However, FIFA is obviously absolutely committed to VAR, and I cannot see any circumstances in which they would abandon it, despite the almost unanimous hatred of it by players, coaches, journalists, and fans. (The complete insulation of FIFA from the game it is meant to serve is perhaps a topic for another post.)

Therefore, given the inevitable absence of logic, I make the following recommendation: Let VAR go on as it has been going in all other cases, but whenever there is a sniff of a question about handball or offside, VAR will take the form of a coin flip: Heads is offside/handball, tails is onside/no-handball. I think it will be easier for everyone concerned if the pretense of standards is abandoned, and the arbitrariness that actually governs calls is embraced.