Gareca Opposed To "Novelty" Of VAR

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Ricardo Gareca believes the video assistant referee (VAR) is helpful but the Peru head coach highlighted human error and its charm to football as he questioned the novelty of the technology.

VAR has been front and centre during the World Cup in Russia, where France were one of the first teams to benefit after being awarded a controversial penalty in their 2-1 win over Australia last week. 

Peru were also the beneficiaries of VAR after they earned a penalty in their 1-0 Group C loss to Denmark.

That has not changed Gareca's stance on VAR ahead of Thursday's must-win match against France, the 60-year-old telling reporters: "I have a very clear understanding of football. Football is very different to any other sport. Mistakes always occur and I think that's one of the attractions that football has to offer. 

"This can be slightly controversial to say and you have to understand it is a personal perspective. Football put on the fourth official and then with another referee behind the goalkeeper to try and improve refereeing. Now we have this novelty of VAR. 

"VAR sometimes confirms goals when there have been fouls. Maybe a penalty is called and one isn't. To my mind football in inexorably linked with mistakes. I don't think this is going to be perfect solution. It is an add-on, it can be helpful but there will always be differences of opinion.

"Imagine if we waste three or four minutes every time we use a VAR to challenge a goal. We could start to review things ad infinitum. 

"I have a very superficial understanding of VAR and what it can contribute to football. Obviously it is done with the best intentions and if something is done with the best intentions, well, I definitely have an open mind towards it." 


Gareca fronted the media on Wednesday with Peru's qualification hopes in the balance after the defeat to Denmark.

All-time leading scorer and captain Paolo Guerrero started that match on the bench, having been cleared to play in the World Cup despite a controversial drugs ban.

Asked if Guerrero's fitness levels were decisive in him not starting against Denmark, Gareca said: "That's not a determining factor. He's fully fit. It was a technical decision on my part. Paolo is not limited or constrained in any way.

"He was one of the last players to join the squad. We started on May 3 and he is the last player who came to the squad, with the victory against Austria. 

"That is why maybe we were looking at not starting him from the beginning but in terms of physical fitness he is fully fit.

"The most important thing for Peru is the team as a unit. That's why we've reached this level, even when very important players were not available. Overcoming adversity and challenges led us to where we are today."