VAR to be shown on screens at World Cup
Replays of incidents reviewed by video assistant referees (VAR) will be shown on big screens at the 2018 World Cup.
VAR will be used at a World Cup for the first time in Russia despite criticism of its use in domestic competition.
One issue has been that fans have been unable to see replays shown on television that referees use to make their decision, leading to confusion.
But this summer the crowd will also be told when a decision is being reviewed and why a decision has been reached.
However the replays will not be shown inside the ground while the referee is making a decision, only afterwards so the official is not influenced by the crowd, football’s world governing body Fifa has announced.
VAR has been trialled in some domestic English cup games this season, as well as in Germany and Italy, and Fifa confirmed in March the system would be used at the World Cup, starting in June.
The system was described as “comical” and “embarrassing” after Tottenham’s FA Cup win over Rochdale in late February, when a goal was disallowed and a converted penalty overturned.
On Monday, a penalty was awarded after players had already left the pitch for half-time in Mainz’s Bundesliga win over relegation rivals Freiburg.
Fifa’s announcement that replays will be shown on big screens at the World Cup comes a day after Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said VAR needed further testing before it would be used in European football’s Champions League competition.
“I have some fear for the World Cup, where we will have referees who have never officiated with the VAR,” Ceferin told Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview.
Fifa’s referees’ chief and former World Cup final referee Pierluigi Collina said the system “is about avoiding clear and obvious major errors”.
“It’s not a question of refereeing the match with technology,” he added. “The goal has never been to check every minor incident.”
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