Velasco Carballo: ‘VAR’s successes have turned into scandals’

Carlos Velasco Carballo, president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) and Clos Gomez, responsible for the VAR project have reviewed the referee’s performance this season. Velasco assured that it had been a “very difficult” campaign for the arbitration team because, in addition to issues such as the pandemic, “a noise in the environment much greater than desired and above all that which is good for the competition” had been created. all in the final stretch. Likewise, even admitting the error at certain times, he stated that it is not possible to “turn successes into scandals.”

Season balance

Velasco He acknowledged that “we feel that very great performances are being silenced. Successes are criticized. Not everything can be worth it. The self-criticism of the arbitration team is the basis for improvement. External criticism helps us grow ”. The president of the referees asked to understand the refereeing error and highlight the numerous successes: “We must understand the refereeing error as part of football. You cannot silence the successes, it is not good for football. We cannot turn hits into scandals. That happens in this country ”. “We ask responsibility to all members of football. I cannot write certain opinions on Twitter or I cannot express certain things. Arbitration is the most respectful group with all that environment. We ask for the same respect for our collective. It does not mean that we do not criticize ourselves. Just respect ”.

Regarding positives, Velasco highlighted the strength of the arbitration team. “They are honest every weekend and they are right in countless cases. They have not been pressured by the environment. We have improved a lot on the actions of serious foul play ”, he said, adding that“ the Technical Committee has given more explanations than ever, it is always open to answering questions and doubts to players, coaches and clubs. And we have not received a single query or request for clarification of any technical aspect ”, said the president of the referees.

VAR data

The VAR has intervened in 155 actions during the 380 matches of LaLiga Santander. Of the four cases in which he can intervene, he did so 73 times for penalties, 52 for goals, 27 for red-hot incidents and three for mistakes of identity. Of the 155 interventions, on 104 occasions the monitor was consulted and on 51 they were factual plays in which it was not necessary. The VAR should not have intervened in 5 of those 155 irruptions (1 time out of every 77 parties entered improperly) and had to make 24 more interventions. “When in doubt, it is better not to intervene,” said Velasco.

Errors and successes

Clos Gomez He broke down the decisions made by the referees in the 380 games and the percentage of success and error. Regarding incidents in the penalty area, 880 were detected, deciding on 115 occasions to indicate the maximum penalty and in 765 not to whistle them. According to the CTA technical commission, the field referees were right 90.91% of the time and were wrong 9.09%, although with the help of the VAR the error was reduced to 1.70%. Of course, of the 80 penalties errors, the technology corrected 65 (clear and overt only) and 15 was left uncorrected. Compared to previous seasons, the VAR has gone from helping 5.42% to 7.39%. Regarding offside incidents (6,227), the hit without VAR was 95.86%. “We must highlight the great success of the attendees,” said Clos.


In order to Velasco, “The VAR performance time continues to be high, and we have to lower it. We are in line with most of the lines that surround us, but we have to improve ”and he acknowledged that“ there have been undesirable behaviors of players in the stands and we should have been more effective, as well as that of some coaches on the bench ”.

Velasco Carballo commented that one of the important aspects for next season is the control of added time. “There have been games in which we should have added more minutes.”


Velasco, who did not want to enter the famous hand of Militao because “I do not enter into concrete actions, he assured that on the hands” a great effort has been made to explain the rules to our environment. In February 2020, a two-hour session was held. Then some more. Then a meeting with the coaches of First and Second. Also a video to the teams with 30 plays. Then with the narrators. A circular was issued. On December 10 it was explained again. March 2, more. The Committee has responded to all, but has not received any doubts about the technical issue of the hands, “explained Velasco Carballo, who added that” the criteria are very clear. We have explained it a hundred times. Referees get it right most of the time. And when they don’t, it’s because of failures ”.

Clos Gomez, for his part, he also spoke of the matter of the hands. “We were successful in 94% of the hands. Only the hands that are difficult to analyze have remained. They have been correct in 141. The naturalness and unnaturalness is complicated according to the action of each player, ”he said. According to the study carried out by the CTA, the referees have been wrong in 7 hands due to natural / unnatural position and two at shoulder height. “Our obligation is that there are fewer errors, but we cannot generate criticism in the face of successes,” added Velasco. “The referee has to comply with the rule, he does it and adds to the box that it is an error. We recognize that there have been hands that have been penalized and were not penalties and hands that were and have not been whistled. We recognize it ”.

Hands for the next season

Next season will change the rules of the hands and Velasco He was very clear about that: “The rules of the game for next season put even more emphasis on the referee being the only one who must assess whether a hand is natural or not natural is a certain action. The rule is telling the world of football that the referee must be the one to dictate it and we must all accept it. If this season, with clear, objective and indisputable facts, controversies have been generated after excellent hits, what will happen next season, when the referee is going to decide, let’s eliminate certain things that the rule said in an objective way Is the world ready to accept it?