For a bird’s eye view of British conservatism, look at sport. No wonder VAR in football is in trouble | Simon Jenkins

For a bird’s eye view of British conservatism, look at sport. No wonder VAR in football is in trouble | Simon Jenkins

Once we create rules and customs, it’s a devil’s job to change them. The debate about video refereeing will be a mighty test

There is one test of a true radical. It is not a quest for revolution in politics, philosophy, art or religion. The challenge lies in the realm of sport. Sport alone is immune to reform. It is enslaved to the past.

Olympic athletes wield the weapons of ancient Athens. The golf club dates from the hundred years war. The size of a football goal was fixed in a Holborn pub in 1863, probably by the reach of the barman. The elegance of cricket is a legacy of the British empire. Gentlemen officers enjoyed a languid five days in which to play a match.

Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist

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