Sam Kerr backs VAR technology for Women's World Cup


The Perth striker says the controversial system isn’t perfect but is a step in the right direction.

Matilda’s superstar forward Sam Kerr has said she would support the implementation of a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) at the 2019 Women's World Cup.

“When it first come out I didn’t really like it but I think after watching games with it and without it, for calls that are definitely not goals, it works,” she told SBS News.  

Sam Kerr
Sam Kerr during Australia vs Japan during the AFC Jordan 2018 Women's Asian Cup final in April 2018.

The technology got off to a controversial start at the 2018 Men’s World Cup in June.

The Socceroos lost to France 2-1 in their opening group match after France was awarded a penalty via the VAR. 

While Kerr empathised with the Socceroos, she said overall, the technology carried more positives than negatives.

“I’ve seen many goals in the Premier League this season that have been offside, or handballs that haven’t been called.”

But, she said, it’s not perfect.

“I just don’t like how it slows the game down. I like how they can get it right but I don’t like how long it takes.”

The Matildas are heading for a seventh straight World Cup next year, and the tournament in France will be Kerr’s third.

"Anytime you get to qualify for a World Cup, it's a huge honour,” she said.

“I think we have a really great chance and we have a great team, so I'm really excited”.

Her immediate focus though will be the W-league, which kicks off next week.

“I think it will be the closest competition, there are a lot of new internationals.

“Personally I hope I can keep scoring more goals and impacting the W-league and Perth Glory.”

Sam Kerr
Kerr was named PFA Women's Footballer of the Year in 2017.

Kerr is regarded one of best female footballers in the world and is the first woman to acquire marquee status for the upcoming W-league season.

The FFA’s marquee fund had previously been used for A-League players only.

Kerr hopes her historic marquee deal will be the first of many for the women’s game 

“To be the first one ever is a huge step and something I don’t take lightly.

“Hopefully it’s a step in the right direction so one day there can be a marquee player for every single team in the W-league,” she said.

“I'm just happy I'm paving the way for women's football.” 

Kerr's grandmother is of Indian descent and many in her family believed she would end up playing cricket or AFL. Her brother Daniel played AFL for the West Coast Eagles.

“When I was a kid I always had AFL, I loved [West Coast Eagles player] Ashley Sampi,”

But Kerr was destined for football.

Sam Kerr
Kerr does a back flip while playing for Perth Glory.

She was recently shortlisted for the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or award and one of just 15 international players shortlisted.

The prestigious prize, which has been awarded to the best male player in the world by France Football magazine since 1956, is recognising women players for the first time.

“It's a huge honour to be nominated next to those girls who a lot of them I play against or play with, even look up to so it’s a huge honour and yeah I’m still pinching myself about that one,” she said.

Kerr has been controversially snubbed for FIFA's World Player of the Year award three years in a row, despite being named the Asian Player of the Year and becoming the top scorer in US football's NWSL in 2017.

This year she was named in the initial shortlist of 10 but didn't make the final three. 

Kerr said she wasn’t fazed by FIFA’s decision.

“It’s obviously nice to feel the public support anytime they’re on your side but those three girls [who won] totally deserve it, take nothing away from them and just motivates me to want to be better and have a bigger year next year.” 

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