Already in May, the selected judges and VAR officials for EURO2020 gathered for a workshop in Nyon, Switzerland, where new interpretations of not least 'handball' was introduced. First – shall we say refreshing - example, so we unfolded already in the EURO2020 opening match in Rome between Turkey and Italy.

The updated new interpretations were implemented in Nyon with a view to creating more consistency by not least 'handball' - which seemed to be the overriding topic during the workshop in the Alps country.

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According to UEFA, the new interpretations – which also includes the almost equally controversial interpretations to offside – will take effect 1 July, but can be used before, at tournaments that start there. Which therefore applies to EURO2020.

Now we can see that this tightening, where just one hand / arm on the ball - regardless of the run - previously almost gave a penalty kick, has already come into force with the opposite result, in the first match of the tournament.

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The selected judges and VAR officials were gathered in Switzerland in May 2021, for an update of rules and guidelines, including in relation to 'handball'. Photo: UEFA.com

One can then ask oneself - as a football enthusiast and executive, how did we end up where an incident like the above triggered a penalty kick automatically. The fact is, however, that the top of football has listened to the voice of the people, the press and common sense.

The long-awaited EURO2020 - with a year's corona delay - was launched with a terrific battle - albeit with Italy clearly overweight - where VAR also played a role. In the TV pictures, it was clear that a ‘hands’ was on the ball for Turkey in the penalty area - and which until 11 June would have triggered a penalty in the VAR room - no matter how those hands had arisen.

It was clear that on the comments during the live match from including English BBC , then it was clearly planned that the judge would be able to sentence. But this time, no. In the first incident, the referee waved his arms defensively and in the second situation, he was told by the VAR room that the match should continue. Without penalty.

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VAR 2.0, as you might call it, has entered into force during EURO2020. Photo: UEFA.com

During the workshop in Nyon, it was made clear that the judge should use his own assessment in relation to how the situation arose. A clear upgrade, of a - until now - incomprehensible interpretation.

And thus the weight of the judge's own judgment has regained some of its - well-deserved - weight. Exciting start to the European Championships - and a modernization of the otherwise infamous VAR. As mentioned earlier in the article, UEFA also emphasized that in future it will only use VAR to "correct clear and obvious errors".

Will the reviled assistant referee system get its renaissance under EURO2020? Time will tell.

Sources: UEFA.com, BBC.com

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