The VAR is first inhuman, then anti-football

And it changed the way we see football.

Three minutes remain at the end of a sweaty, balanced, tense game. Those three points serve as bread, and as you meet the looks of your neighbors you’re already thinking about the aftermath: the slurred screams of the fans leaving the stadium, the path that takes you to your car and then running home, while the complaints on the radio intensify an already depressed state of mind. A foot, a tuft of hair, a touch butt Why not; All it takes is someone to score. here she is Joy which Eilenberger spoke to us about (in certain terms of football being played):

«First and foremost, the ball is the archetype of pleasant experiences. the experience [calcistica] it is indeed full of Joy».

When the favorite team scores the long-awaited goal, it happens Joy:In The Moment where football ceases to be A game, becoming our existence In Game. This has always been the case, at least until the introduction of the VAR – sinister acronym referring to the divinity favored by them, due to a strange twist of fate viking Sayings Varjaghi for the cult of the same name goddess of justice. Indeed it seems to be first and fundamental quality of the Goddess VAR: thinking about the imponderable and finally to fulfill the (all-American) dream of messianic judicialism. As if soccer were a fair game, better still: as if injustices didn’t make special this sport we’ve been cursed against since we were born.

However, unlike in other cultures, in Italy we seem to be particularly attracted – mind you on a societal level, not in practice – to the idea of ​​”exemplary justice”. Especially since me grillini They came into power. And in football a few years earlier: let’s say from the summer of 2006, that of the Calciopoli scandal. Far be it from us to defend a corrupt and corruptible caste, unable to open itself to a serious and critical dialogue with the outside world (they actually understood everything). But exactly: That we can talk to each other, that we can discuss the mistake, is still human and sacred.

Distancing oneself in one’s own order without responding to the voices of fans and the press means inability to communicate, yes insecurity, but still and sacred humanity. Man is wrong and technology? Technology is never wrong. To the point that the error once admitted is now the diabolical key to speaking of “bad faith”, “scandal”, “corruption”. The betrayed referee will be fired soon. So Lee Mason, umpire for 500+ games (on the field, not stuff out Big Brother’s Eye), exclaimed himself from PGMOL (English football officials) for not drawing the line correctly when validating Brentford’s goal against Arsenal. Here, before your eyes, technocracy (= the power/government of technology) is the only word and the only judge. The mistake? It is not taken into account: if the technology says “a” and the human has seen “b”, then “b” is in bad faith and in a state of corruption in relation to “a”.

How was it possible that, at a certain point in great history, man chose to warp his own being in the service of technology? How is it possible not to see the damage that technology has done to our mental health, well-being and existence in general? The VAR, which should be clear to everyone by now, is a symbol from something else. It is neither a “useful” tool – firstly because the facts show that it is not complete – nor “necessary” because football is a game in which the human component – the mistake above all – is not an obstacle, but those core of its success, the intimate and sensual essence of its light beauty.

To paraphrase the story of an author we’ll be happy to revisit later, who football remain VAR like Hobbits to Sauron – which he did not happen to have a single and immaterial eye: has a unique and unreal view of things (capturing still images), like Orwell’s Big Brother or a camera lens.

Profit for profit, technician for technician, you almost want to ask what the next step will be: removing the footballer-jugglers from the field because they are “unusable” for it ends of the result? Maybe replace the fierce and dangerous fans with the latest generation LEDs, or else Eliminate the players yourself to simulate a match in the Metaverse – we will of course get there: but let it be obvious, The that worries. On the other hand, what is the introduction of effective time if not «the umpteenth physiological stage of this process in which a football, fed up with being human, is obsessed with justice and obsessed with a control mania, the contingency of the total war declared in the utopia of total predictability; in the specific goal of removing external variables»?

How do you explain to a kid that cheering with your dad is silly and almost wrong? – let’s say outside the stadium, where everything is clearly being built negatively – why is the VAR goddess, a monster with a small head and huge arms, in the goal “check” phase? One could argue that the problem raised here is wrong: After all, football is not supposed to be a game To the right? What is the point of removing the VAR at a sporting level? But the question should be reversed: How much did we lose by adding the VAR in the game?

Soccer is something else, at least for the author. You sing, dance, drink together in ecstasy unrepeatable moment. It’s the joy that brings tears to your eyes when you score a goal At this moment.

After the game, as Nick Hornby brilliantly observed, “there’s always another game to play.” Fever at 90°. Maybe that’s why the Brits hate the VAR and are seriously considering removing it. The referee makes a mistake, e.g his part of the game. But the game remains. In fact, it is precisely because of error in pub tales that the sacred element remains that makes our lives so full of meaning. Eilenberger always defined it as “Crusade against contingency“: “Thanks to the VAR, it was believed that the unpredictability of the linesman’s decisions could be eliminated […]. It’s clear that football as a whole has been affected by the obsession destroy the contingencybut this obsession it affects the whole society. In medicine, for example, fetal screening is now widely used to bring into our availability a prominent form of contingency like genetics; It also occurs to me that Angelina Jolie had to have a precautionary mastectomy because she knew she had a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Both football and medicine tend to the ideal of total control of our lives.”

For some, of course, this is a dream: it is the (at least ideal) achievement of messianic judicialism, which sees, anticipates, provides. But what happened to the color that the forbidden – and even illusory – dream gives in the gray that can sometimes dominate us? We are truly “the society of disenchantment” (Weber) if we have preferred the unnerving smile of the law dictating law (the lines on the semi-sic! automatic offside signaled by the VAR) to thatEmotion of the heart that is beyond the law.

“A large part of the reason football is so loved, I think, is because it’s a game about the unavailability of our livelihoods and the fragility of people are staged particularly intensively; but many things that are now touted as footballing enrichments – such as VAR – detract from the football experience itself. I think VAR is a perfect example to illustrate the ambivalence of these control techniques in our lives.”

And similarly, Marco Ciriello said during the most technocratic yet – not surprisingly – less narrow-minded World Cup than ever before, between poor folks being paid to cheer on another nation’s team and the ban on authentic stadium expressions, Marco Ciriello said (commented the use of the balloon, which is also technocratic, rechargeable like an electric car or a smartphone): «It’s the difference between an Amazonian magician and a radiologist: both can have poetry, but the magician a little more. And here is the voice of the cynic, invoking the justice of the game, the clarity of the framework, the absoluteness of the test.

But with that balloon there would be no hand of God and not even God himself, living in misunderstanding, in hope, in oscillating between truth and falsehood, between the visible and invisible, in the legend of the impossible, ranging from Homer’s darkness to song by Victor Hugo Morales traversing the Gospel of Matthew».

St Augustine said (De MusicaVI, 13.39) that the curiosity “She is the enemy of Security» as the name suggests (both terms are derived from “heal”). Securitas does indeed come off safeusnot “safe” but “without worry” (literally without cure): Just like The Child who just wanted to enjoy the moment together with his father, despair at the moment and why not learn from football that life is unfair. That the mistake is our own life, which starts with it the birth pangs (Mt 24:7-8). Remove The Football’s component was an unforgivable violence, an act of demonic pride. «And whoever breaks an object to find out what it is like has left the path of wisdom» says Gandalf to Saruman, the technocrat par excellence, in Lord of the rings. The man preferred those curiosity In the Security, math to poetry, the VAR to the referee. In a word, he chose to dominate the imponderable without realizing that he would end up being dominated by his own imponderability. To the point of self-denial.

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