VAR has changed the landscape of football forever.
Even in a parallel universe where FIFA scrapped the initiative tomorrow, there would still be an irreversible imprint of football's brave step into the technological world in the history books.
Besides, huge Champions League and Premier League decisions have now been overseen by VAR's watchful eye and it was even used to award a controversial penalty in a World Cup final.
Football in the VAR world
However, as forward-thinking as the use of technology to aid referees has always seemed, it would be fair to say that VAR hasn't always been a hit with the supporters.
I'll be the first person to admit that VAR hasn't sit right with me since it strode into the Premier League arena, flaunting its offside lines and slow-motion replays without a care in the world.
As entertaining as it might be to see an added layer of drama whenever a penalty is given or the ball hits the net, anyone would be lying if they said that VAR has experienced a seamless lifespan.
VAR: Killing the passion?
But aside from the controversial decisions and laws, perhaps the most disappointing thing about football's advance into the VAR era has been its impact upon the passion of the game.
Besides, one can't help holding back a little whenever your team scores in case the technology finds out that you actually conceded a penalty at the other end of the pitch five minutes ago.
Ok, sure, that's an exaggeration, but that element of doubt is unquestionably sucking the soul out of arguably the greatest thing about watching football: being able to passionately celebrate a goal.
'The exact moment football died'
Now, I know for a fact that I'm not alone in my pessimistic outlook because a clip discussing this exact issue has been spreading like wildfire across Twitter over the past few days.
Boldly claiming to show 'the exact moment football died', the footage from Manchester City's epic clash with Tottenham Hotspur in 2019 has attracted more than 3,400 retweets and 19,000 'likes'.
But before we apply anymore context than that, be sure to breathe in the clip for yourself by checking it out down below:
It feels like a watershed moment, doesn't it?
VAR debate rages on
While Raheem Sterling's dramatic Champions League winner that never was certainly wasn't the first controversial VAR decision in history, it was arguably the most impactful one.
Now, as many fans have highlighted in the comments, the decision was ultimately a correct one and Spurs fans would have rightfully been raging had Sterling's finish been allowed to stand.
But park the rules to the side for a second because that's not really the point here. Rather, Twitter user @SerMM91 is making the point that they: "Haven’t celebrated a goal since."
I doubt that's the case in literal terms, but when dramatic winners are being chalked off in the world of VAR, you have to wonder whether the sport will slowly lose its passion in moments like those.
Don't get me wrong, I think VAR is a fantastic addition to the game on paper and I'd be lying if I said I could form an irrefutable argument that it should be kicked out of the Premier League forever.
But for what it does to moments like those at the Etihad Stadium, I'm not sure I, nor thousands of other fans, will truly ever be able to get behind it.News Now - Sport News