FIFA approves VAR for 2018 World Cup

Photo Credit” The Sun

By Israel Igiri     

World football governing body, FIFA, has approved video review to help referees at the 2018 Russia World Cup. The last step towards giving match officials video assistance in Russia was agreed to on Friday by FIFA’s ruling council.

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“We are going to have our first World Cup with VAR,” FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, said. “It has been approved and we are extremely happy with that decision.”

It comes two weeks after the association’s rule-making panel voted to write video assistant referees into the laws. That move still left competition organizers with the option of using video review in their games, and FIFA’s ruling committee had to sign off on the World Cup decision.

Reinhard Grindel, a FIFA council member, said that communication will be important to make the system a success- something that was promised on Friday by Infantino.

Referees will be able to call on VAR to review and overturn “clear and obvious errors” plus “serious missed incidents” involving goals, penalty awards, red cards and mistaken identity.

While Infantino acknowledged two weeks ago that VAR is “not perfect” after the rules panel met in Zurich, it has stirred controversy even by the most experienced VAR officials who have handled many more games than most referees who will work at the 64-game World Cup.

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Nevertheless, a total of 36 referees, plus their teams of assistants, are being trained by FIFA for World Cup duty and many more from countries that do not use video review in domestic games.

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