Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke calls for reforms to VAR and handball rule

Hans-Joachim Watzke
Hans-Joachim Watzke / Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has called for a reform to VAR as he believes that it takes away the spontaneous emotions in football.

Calls for changes to VAR are growing, with many contentious decisions taking place across football matches week in, week out. Hans-Joachim Watzke has now called for a change to the way VAR is used, as he believes that the long decision making process is taking all fan emotions out of the game.

Watzke, who is the Borussia Dortmund CEO and also has influential roles in the DFL and DFB, said in an interview with Ruhr Nachrichten that the issue will be discussed at a meeting next month.

"VAR kills spontaneous emotions, we have to solve this. Being happy or angry for a second time after four minutes is not the right approach. We have to take it seriously when people say: this is no longer our football at this point. We have to change something. We will convene a meeting with the DFL, ideally in cooperation with the DFB, and look for solutions."

In addition to VAR, Watzke has also aimed criticism at the handball rule and its application in football. The 64 year old is of the opinion that there is a major problem in the way the rule is interpreted.

"We can't get it right nationally, we can't get it right internationally. The rules are now being interpreted very differently in every stadium. It used to be so simple: it was always just a question of whether it was an intentional handball or not."

There have been a number of contentious penalties awarded for handball this season, especially in the UEFA Champions League. It was also a major talking point earlier this week, as Paris Saint-Germain were awarded a controversial penalty in the 98th minute against Newcastle United after the ball struck Tino Livramento's arm. The penalty helped PSG salvage a point, and denied Borussia Dortmund the chance to secure first place in their Champions League group.