This season's Premier League has certainly been an interesting one. We've seen a three-month break delaying Liverpool's first-ever crowning as Premier League champions, the slow demise of both Arsenal and West Ham, and, most importantly, the introduction of VAR.
VAR, the abbreviated term for Video Assistant Referee, has been the source of many controversies during its inaugural season in the Premier League. From disallowed goals to penalty appeals, fans and players alike have expressed their frustration at the inconsistent nature of the technology, calling for reform or even its removal.
As we fast approach the release of EA's annual football title, FIFA 21, fans are wondering whether this divisive technology will make its way into the game, or, like James Maddison for the England starting XI, will get overlooked.
Why VAR could be in FIFA 21
There's no denying that VAR is now a huge part of football.
If EA are to promote their games as the best, most accurate football simulators around, then it would only make sense that they update the game to reflect the changes made to the game's laws.
Indeed, we have already seen EA implement such changes in the past, with the vanishing spray and goal-line technology introduced in previous iterations of FIFA.
Football Manager, another of the most popular football simulators on the market, has already introduced VAR into its game. This means it would not be an unprecedented move for EA to include the technology in their latest title.
READ MORE: Everything we know about FIFA 21
Why VAR might NOT be in FIFA 21
While VAR has dominated the Premier League this season, EA could postpone its introduction in FIFA until the technology matures and even more leagues adopt it. Many of the lower leagues that are crucial in Career Mode do not use VAR, for example.
There is also the question of whether FIFA 21 needs VAR.
As the refereeing in FIFA 21 already uses technology to make decisions, the use of VAR is not necessary to improve these decisions. The use of VAR would, therefore, be for purely cosmetic reasons, with cutscenes and VAR decisions just extending out the length of a game even further.
Should VAR be in FIFA 21?
In my opinion, yes.
VAR, rightly or wrongly, is now part of the footballing experience. If left out of FIFA 21, its absencewill break the immersion and EA's commitment to replicating football.
Of course, there is bound to be some rage-inducing moments when VAR disallows your goal is because of a foul or for the most marginal of offside's, but that's football.
If leagues around the world continue to use VAR, I highly doubt EA can ignore the technology forever. After all the VAR issues are worked out on both the real and virtual pitches, it may make for a better gameplay experience.