December 3, 2023

As the biggest event in Football world is approaching, FIFA Technology Chief, Johannes Holzmueller, still remains highly skeptical of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system’s ability to give perfect decisions. He admitted of ”sweating..because we were unsure if everything works perfectly.” It will be used for the very first time in football’s quadrennial event at the FIFA Worldcup 2018

Why controversies?

On May 6, 2018, VAR wrongly awarded a goal to Melbourne Victory which eventually decided the fate of Australia’s A-League Championship over Newcastle Jets. Replays clearly suggested that James Donachies was offside but VAR could not detect it due to technical snags. According to A-League officials, the Hawk-Eye software could not upload the broadcast feed into the system just before the goal.


Kosta Barbarouses of the Victory celebrates his goal Source:Getty Images

In another incident, the system gave penalty to Bundesliga side Mainz even after Freiburg’s players left the pitch following a half-time whistle in April 2018.

According to Holzmueller, in another incident, the offside line on digital screen appeared bendy instead of straight.

What FIFA says?

After examining the technology extensively for two years, FIFA is all set to introduce VAR system in the 2018 World Cup. Saying that they will ensure the best possible technology during the football extravaganza, FIFA Technology Chief, admitted that the  system could give some incorrect decisions at times, since it is a technology.

Alternative options

The match officials will have to be very careful that they can not just rely on the VAR system. The referees have to take the ultimate in case VAR system fails to recognize any incident on the field.

What VAR will offer?

FIFA will run the  system from centralised control centre like Bundesliga. Also, two additional cameras will be installed for offside decisions. Along with that, 33 cameras will be installed for broadcasters under stadium roofs.

Also, the control room will have constant connection to match officials through fiber optic network. For each match, one VAR and three assistant VARS will be selected by Pierluigi Collina, chief refereeing officer of UEFA.


To Read more on the Upcoming FIFA World Cup


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