Time is naturally ever rolling and always transiting. It is such a determined entity who never will retrace its steps while on course.
Time swiftly creates history at every breath; every second that exists is immediately dumped into the past. Once the time is lost, it can’t be reclaimed. The best that you can do is to make the best out of time, time management. No human has control over time; “Time waits for no one”. But football is attempting to change that narrative and as such re-wire our thoughts and feelings regarding time.
Football has evolved as it has embraced the use of technology (and artificial intelligence) on the field of play. First was the use of goal-line technology. Next addition has been the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee was intended to make-up for the fallible nature of the human referee. It was meant to assist in the making of “precised” judgments during a football match. And it has, in a way, helped the referee on the field to have his/her eyes on every move on the pitch.
This technology is a welcomed development. But it has led to many renowned decisions that have remained in the minds of the teams that either earned its favour or were out of favour with it. The 2019 Female World Cup in France has had its own share of the many VAR controversies. The 2019 Copa America hosted by Brazil isn’t left out too. But what would we expect when there are too many hands in the pot preparing the meal.
Gone are the days when the referee on the pitch was independent and was the only sole decision maker. In those days, time was effectively managed. The referee had no luxury of time to recheck and review fouls committed by players. The referee never had the privilege of confidently reversing an earlier accepted goal. It wasn’t expected that anyone could turn back the hands of time.
Nowadays, a match can be stopped, and an incident which had occurred 3 minutes earlier will be put up for a review by those in the VAR room. With this, the VAR can successfully bring our past into the present so as to correct things formerly overlooked and thereby reshape how the present will continue afterwards. See, we can pause our time in the now.
What a change this has brought! We can now turn back the hands of time. The implication of all this is a possible dampening of the football spirit on the pitch. We had watched as the Cameroonian Female team threatened to walk off the pitch during their match against England at the 2019 Female World Cup. Their protest was based on the calls made by the VAR that wasn’t in their favour. You see, maybe there is the harm in turning back the hands of time.
By Itoro Orok
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