Friday, September 29, 2023

Alex Scott jokes VAR announcements in stadium are ‘like Hunger Games’, but Ian Wright loves it

Alex Scott made a lighthearted comment about the first VAR announcement at the Women’s World Cup, comparing it to “The Hunger Games.” This historic moment occurred when the referee announced her decision to the crowd using her microphone. Referee Yamashita’s announcement of the VAR call inside the stadium was a first in football, and it was met with excitement and cheers from the spectators.

FIFA approved the proposal to allow referees to announce their calls during the competition in New Zealand and Australia. In a crucial moment of the match, Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen appeared to handle the ball, leading to a penalty after referee Yoshimi Yamashita reviewed the incident. The referee’s announcement of “penalty” through her microphone was met with enthusiasm from the crowd.

Pundit Alex Scott found humor in the situation and compared it to “The Hunger Games,” a popular dystopian book and film series. She couldn’t help but laugh at the unique experience. Ian Wright, who was present at the match, also expressed his admiration for the referee’s announcement.

While VAR made history, it was also a historic moment for co-hosts New Zealand, who defied the odds and secured a 1-0 victory against Norway. This win marked New Zealand’s first-ever victory on the global stage in the Women’s World Cup. Hannah Wilkinson’s goal on 48 minutes sealed the memorable win for New Zealand over the 1995 World Cup winners.

Overall, this VAR announcement added an exciting and unique element to the Women’s World Cup, and it will be remembered as a significant moment in the tournament’s history.
Arsenal legend Alex Scott has quipped that hearing the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) decisions broadcast at football stadiums is “like the Hunger Games,” but fellow Gunner Ian Wright is apparently a huge fan.

Scott made the Hunger Games reference following Arsenal’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, in which midfielder Dani Ceballos was sent-off after the VAR was consulted.

The 33-year-old former defender – now a pundit on Sky Sports – claimed it is “odd” hearing the VAR decision announcements over the tannoy at stadiums up and down the country, with crowds often falling silent as they wait to learn of the official verdict.

“It is like the Hunger Games when they come over [the tannoy],” said Scott of the VAR process.

“You can hear a pin drop because people do not know if it is a penalty or not. And the result of the game could completely change, it is weird.

But her Sky Sports colleague Wright, 58 – Arsenal’s record goalscorer – is an apparent supporter of the technology, claiming that it is “clearing loads of discrepancies” in regards to penalty decisions.

“I love VAR because I went to games where there were blatant penalties not given,” Wright said.

“So for me I love VAR coming in. It is controversial the way they have done it but I think if they got it right, I think it clears loads and loads of discrepancies.”

The VAR process has continued to cause controversy since its implementation in July 2019, with Scott’s fellow former Arsenal star Martin Keown claiming recently that it may be killing the emotion of the game.

Governing body FIFA has backed the technology, saying that VAR will help referees “reach more correct decisions.”

There appears to be no consensus among former players, however, with Alex Scott and Ian Wright seemingly occupying different ends of the debate in their latest round of VAR discussion.

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