Van Marwijk turns to tennis to fix VAR

Emma Kemp

Bert van Marwijk has joined the chorus of video assistant referee detractors, lamenting the way it sucks the romance out of football.

But if it has to stay, the Socceroos coach believes the controversial technology can look to another sport to help it improve.

Van Marwijk suggested football employ a similar approach to tennis and allow teams a certain number of opportunities to challenge decisions by consulting the VAR, also similar to cricket's Decision Review System (DRS).

"In tennis it's different," van Marwijk said.

"Tennis players themselves can decide when you ask the video ref.

"Maybe you can think about giving both teams one, two or maybe three possibilities to ask the video ref. That's better and more honest.

"Because now everybody is depending on what the referee thinks and sees."

Van Marwijk was at Saturday's A-League grand final in Newcastle when a technical glitch in the VAR system allowed Melbourne Victory to get away with a clearly offside goal for a 1-0 win over the Jets.

Football Federation Australia's extraordinary admission that Hawkeye had a "malfunction of software" just before the goal comes as a dramatic warning of the VAR's fallibility before next month's World Cup in Russia, where it will be used at football's showpiece tournament for the first time.

Van Marwijk's declined to say how he'd react if a similar error occurred during one of the Socceroos' games but had more to offer about what the technology was doing to the human element of the game.

"It's very difficult, a video referee," he said.

"I understand that you try to change football, the rules, to make it better, but we have to keep the charming things of football.

"You also must have the situation that you have to shout about things happening, and people are talking about situations in the cafes and journalists are discussing things.

"We must not have a situation that we cannot discuss anything anymore.

"But I already saw games with video referees.. (the decision) takes minutes... it has to go faster."