The Video Assistant Referee or VAR is a video referral system that attempts to aid the Referee in making ‘game-changing decisions’. VAR is making its debut in a Major tournament after having a dress rehearsal in last Season’s FA Cup, So what exactly is VAR and how does it work?


What is Video Assistant Referee and Where exactly is it applicable?   

Ok to explain it in simple terms, Diego Maradona used his hand against England in the 1986 World Cup Quarterfinals, Frank Lampard was denied a clear goal in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. These instances were Blunders and decisions like this can cost aside from the game, notice how it was England in both instances? ok, that’s not my point. So basically VAR is an attempt to stop these blunders by integrating technology into Football.

What you need to keep in mind is that Video Assistant Referee is only applicable in four different game Changing situations namely:

  • Goals– Any infringement made in the build-up to a Goal can be reviewed
  • Penalty Decisions– Any questionable foul or offense made inside the Box can be checked
  • Red Cards– Any foul given by the Referee can be reviewed if the offence seems more serious to the Video Assistant Referee team.
  • Mistaken Identity– Remember Kieran Gibbs getting a Red card for Oxlade Chamberlain’s handball? VAR will ensure this doesn’t happen again. 

Any of the above decisions can be reviewed by the VAR team.

The VAR team for the FIFA World Cup

The VAR team consists of four referees in Moscow who observe and follow the games all across Russia. The VAR team has the luxury of 33 different camera angles and also have 2 special cameras just for offside calls. The Referee can stay in constant communication with the Video Assistant Referee team through a radio Microphone

If the Referee makes a poor decision on the Pitch the Video Assistant Referee team can intervene and advise the Referee to recheck his decision, in this situation the referee will point to his earpiece to indicate he’s communicating with the VAR team

In the event that the on-field referee wants to review a decision by the Video Assistant Referee, he/she will have to draw a square in the air to put the game on hold while the VAR team does their work.

In a bid to showcase transparency the on-field referee will be able to see the same replays that are being analyzed in Moscow and Worldwide on Television as well

The Video Assistant Referee has been gaining Popularity after getting a few decisions spot o in the Worl Cup especially during France vs Australia game a 2-1 win for Les Blues that was solely dependant on technology. It’s been debated but I personally feel, Video Assistant Referee is a brilliant initiative and it is here to stay.


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