How Does VAR Work at the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

How Does VAR Work

Round 1 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is complete and we’ve seen plenty of action to date – one thing that many fans are wondering, is how does VAR work, and how is it implemented for the tournament in Russia?

To give you the low down, we’ve taken some knowledge from Joe, to inform everyone on the new technology.

How Does VAR Work?

The referee can delay a restart at any time to communicate with the VAR. He will signal this by pointing to his ear.

As with any new technology, there are some people who doubt the effectiveness thereof. I for one, am one of those. During trials in the UK’s domestic season, there were a couple of calls that were mangled due to the technology – the fact that the game continues while some calls are being decided on, certainly opens the door to controversy. What happens when the opposing team scores during this time? I don’t see how you can then take that goal away without riots all round.

Having said that, I do believe that VAR has a place in Football and during the World Cup thus far, they seem to be getting the calls more spot on than in early trial phases.

Video Assistant Referees, or VAR, can be used in four different circumstances during a game:

  • Goals
  • Penalty Decisions
  • Direct Red card incidents
  • Mistaken identity

In other words, fouls that are committed outside of the penalty area, remains the domain of the ref and his on-field assistants and VAR cannot be called in for help.

VAR can also not be called upon, in the case of two yellow cards leading to a red card or on dubious offside calls.

How is VAR Implemented?

How Does VAR Work?
Four replay operators select and provide the best camera angles.

Once an incident occurs, step 1 is for the ref to inform his Video Assistant Referee – the referees in the studio then reviews the incident from a range of camera angles and advises the on-pitch ref what to do.

Based on the advice from the Video Assistant Referee and his own interpretation of the incident, the on-field ref then makes a call on how to proceed. The on-field ref is not obliged to follow the advice of the VAR, but one would hardly imagine a situation where a referee would not follow their advice.

Should the on-field referee need more clarity on an incident, he is able to view the incident on a screen that is situated next to the field.

In the case of offside calls, referees and on-pitch assistants have been instructed to allow play to continue when they are not 100% sure about the call. If a goal is then scored, they can defer to VAR to check whether is should be awarded or not.

In doing so, they can avoid an early and incorrect offside call, preventing a legitimate goal.

How Does VAR Work in Your Opinion? What are your thoughts on VAR and the way it has been implemented? Tell us in the comments below.

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