Former Manchester United defender and current Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes that technology in football can only improve the sport and critics need to accept change if the sport is to progress.
“I’m a big advocate of digital competence and technology being a part of sport,” he told zujuGP. “VAR (Video Assistant Referee) gets a very, very bad reputation in the UK but I’m not against it. I like it, I like the idea of accuracy.
“We live in a world where some people say ‘oh we don’t want VAR, we don’t want VR or social media’. Get used to it, it’s not going anywhere.”
Neville brought up his two decades at Old Trafford, in which he saw first hand the rapid change in football advancement over the years.
“You see someone like (former Man Utd manager) Sir Alex Ferguson start off with very minimal staff when he first arrived at the club and end up with sports science, medical, testing… everything changes.
“So if you don’t open your eyes and see what’s coming, if you’re not a fast mover or a pioneer, you end up getting left behind. I don’t like change sometimes, but I know you have to move with the times and you have to accept change in life.”
There’s not just resistance to change in football, there’s resistance to change in life.
The 8-time Premier League winner was speaking at the launch of the Peter Lim Sports Ignite Grant at Cafe Football in Singapore, which aims to provide a platform for youngsters from less privileged backgrounds to develop their skills and interests with a particular focus on sports.
“I think the people I look up to are my mum, Sir Alex for everything he’s done in our lives, and Peter Lim for the last 10 years for our relationship and his business approach and how he is,” Neville said.
“Peter’s calmness, patience and generosity, his business knowledge and acumen have been a huge influence in the last 10 to 15 years of my life.”
Watch Gary Neville’s full interview with zujuGP: