VAR on track for World Cup after IFAB approves technology

VAR on track for World Cup after IFAB approves technology

Video assistant referees are set to be used at this year's World Cup in Russian Federation after football's lawmakers voted to approve the technology.

The International Football Association Board, IFAB, reached a unanimous agreement at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Saturday morning.

Football's lawmakers are poised to approve video assistant referees at the World Cup this summer in spite of controversies during various global trials but the Premier League is unlikely to follow their lead immediately.

It was found that VAR had a positive impact in eight per cent of matches, with an average of one clear and obvious error in every three games.

Other critics have said the technology undermines the on-field referee and disrupts the flow of the game.

But there are many, not least UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who believe the idea is premature and that a lot more experimentation needs to take place before VARs become law.

Infantino said that he was initially sceptical of VAR, but has been won over by it.

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Juan Mata's goal against Huddersfield Town, also in the FA Cup fifth round in front of the BT Sport cameras, was ruled out for offside.

VAR has been heavily promoted by world football's governing body FIFA, despite its implementation this season in leading leagues such as the German Bundesliga and Italy's Serie A not convincing everyone. "VAR is good for football, is good for refereeing, it brings more fairness in the game and, for these reasons, we have made a decision to approve VAR".

VAR has already drawn fierce criticism from fans, pundits and the media alike for its inconsistent usage, confusing laws and the time it takes for a decision to be reached.

The referee can request assistance with these decisions or it can be recommended by the video officials, but the referee on the pitch has the final say after being talked through what the footage shows. Later, Tottenham were awarded a free-kick outside the penalty area, only for a spot-kick to be given after another VAR ruling.

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Football lawmakers have also approved further trials of red and yellow cards for coaches or team officials who behave poorly on the touchline following theIFAB initiative 'Play fair!', aimed at improving behaviour and increasing respect.

"If we, or I, can do something to make sure that the World Cup is not decided by a referee's mistakes, then I think it's our duty to do it", he said.

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