VAR controversy: John Barnes says system is not to blame for errors
"When a human being looks at the machine and comes up with a decision that people don't agree with, don't blame the machine, blame the human being."
By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 30/12/19 1:46pm
Liverpool legend John Barnes believes there is nothing wrong with VAR, but says 'ridiculous laws' are causing problems.
The comments come in the wake of more controversy over the system's use during Liverpool's win over Wolves on Super Sunday.
Already angered by VAR's decision to overrule what was adjudged by on-field referee Anthony Taylor to have been handball in the build-up to Liverpool's opening goal, Wolves were then denied an equaliser on the stroke of half-time by a marginal offside decision.
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However, Barnes believes the interpretation of the rules are causing issues rather than the VAR system.
"It's the implementation of the system and the interpretation of the laws that causes the problems because VAR doesn't make mistakes," John Barnes told Sky Sports News.
"When a human being looks at the machine and comes up with a decision that people don't agree with, don't blame the machine, blame the human being.
"VAR is not the problem, it's a machine and it can't make mistakes. It's the humans that interpret it and for me the laws are ridiculous. It is the laws we have made that have made it ridiculous.
"They are too ambiguous and they don't clarify the situation - the offside situation where you are deemed offside with a part of the body you can't score from does not make sense,
"In the old days when it was just your feet and you could see the lines where your feet were it was a lot simpler."
'Offside rule needs tweaking'
Barnes believes a back-to-basics approach needs to be taken with offside, whereby a player's feet are the measure for the rule and not any other part of the body.
"The offside situation where you are deemed offside with a part of the body you can't score from does not make sense," Barnes added.
"Offside is offside but as I said, it's the implementation of what is offside and what isn't which is the problem, because once you start talking about a part of your shoulder or thigh for instance it becomes difficult.
"When you are talking about your feet it's very easy doing it off the ground so if your feet are offside, you are offside."
Offside should only be 'clear and obvious'
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) have also echoed Barnes' sentiments by claiming VAR should only be called upon to reverse "clear and obvious" mistakes regarding offside.
In general terms, the IFAB advise the technology cannot definitively make a ruling on offside, and that VAR should only be used to correct "clear and obvious" mistakes.
"Clear and obvious still remains - it's an important principle. There should not be a lot of time spent to find something marginal," an IFAB spokesperson said.
"If something is not clear on the first sight, then it's not obvious and it shouldn't be considered.
"Looking at one camera angle is one thing but looking at 15, trying to find something that was potentially not even there, this was not the idea of the VAR principle. It should be clear and obvious."