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Too early to broadcast officials-VAR communication – Rocchi

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SERIE A referee designator Gianluca Rocchi suggested that it was too early to allow a public broadcast of the talks between officials and the VAR room.

  The confusing incident in the dying minutes of Juventus’ 2-2 draw with Salernitana earlier this season again reignited the controversy surrounding the usage of VAR in Italian football, with many observers baffled at how such mistakes can be made at the highest level.

  It was claimed that the VAR room couldn’t see the Salernitana player keeping Leonardo Bonucci onside for the disallowed goal, an explanation that didn’t go down particularly well.

  Speaking at the Social Football Summit in Rome, Rocchi first discussed the possibility of allowing a public broadcast of the communication between officials and the VAR room in matches.

  “In Formula 1 they’re filtered, the first thing that would be asked would be what was cut. It’s complex, those on the pitch and those off it must have adequate communication skills. We’re improving a lot, even compared to last year, but it still takes time.

  “On the referees’ side there is total openness, there’re no secrets. The problem with broadcasting live is that there’s no filter, the whole world would hear what happens on the pitch.”

  The Serie A referee designator touched on why this is possible in rugby but not in football yet.

  “There’s another culture of how the referee works, there is less stress with a different system. Italian referees are working hard to move towards communication that can be heard by everyone, but we are on a path of growth.

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  “Today I couldn’t send a live audio, because the level is not yet adequate, but we’re working a lot. We’re doing a huge amount of training, in some cases holding back isn’t easy because you risk limiting your spontaneity and it would become a problem in reverse.”

  On how long it would take to implement a system like this, Rocchi said, “It depends on the results, when we realise we’re ready. Then we will still need a general authorisation from FIFA, we cannot do as we please. The important thing will be to be ready when the time comes.”

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