If you’re a football fan, then you’ve probably come across Video Assistant Referee (VAR) during a match. What is VAR in soccer? Well, it is used as a form of assistance to determine different decisions during a game.
How VAR Started?
Now that you know all about VAR soccer meaning and how it works, let’s take a dive into its history. Video Assistant Referee technology has been instrumental in the growth of football history.
The testing of the technology began in 2012 during a friendly match between Italy and Netherlands. However, the official approval and introduction of the technology to the game came in 2016, by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).
After its approval, the technology was used in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup hosted in Russia. In the year after that, it was also introduced to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. VAR in soccer has been quite controversial, especially in the community. Some agree that it helps in providing accurate referee decisions. However, some are of the opinion that it only disrupts the game and can be confusing for players, sports officials, as well as fans.
How Does it Work?
As we mentioned earlier, VAR helps in the decision-making during an ongoing match. Usually, the team will work with the referee to spot any errors and clarify uncertainties during the game.It can be used to decide on goals, penalty, red card, and even mistaken identities.
- Goal Decisions
Usually, VAR can be used to check if a goal is to be awarded or not. It will also help to detect if there was a foul or any infraction leading to that goal. If, for instance, the technology detects a ball was out of play right before a goal was scored, then it would not count as a goal. The same would apply if there was any infraction before the goal was scored.
- Penalty Decisions
Also, in soccer, it is used to decide if a penalty kick should be awarded. To determine if a penalty kick should be given, the technology will be used to check for any fouls around the penalty area. If an attempted goal was prevented by the other team, or if there were any other infractions in the penalty area, then a penalty kick will be awarded.
- Direct Red Card Decisions
Another reason it is useful is to determine who gets a red card during the game. VAR can be used to check if a player was aggressive towards another. It will be used to point out any repeated fouls that led to yellow cards to give a red card. Also, the technology detects any serious infractions that automatically qualifies for a red card.
- Mistaken Identity Decisions
The fourth use is to verify the identity of a player especially when an offense has been committed. If during the gameplay, an incident happens that is unclear, the technology will be referred to. It will help identify who committed the infraction, and a decision will be made.
At any time during the game, the referee can request a review before making any decision.
Here’s how the it works in soccer games:
- Incident Occurs: When there is any incident during the game, at the request of the Referee or the VAR team, both will review the incident.
- Review and Advice: After the video is reviewed by the team, the referee will be notified via their headset what is on the video.
- Decision: The Referee, now having all the facts, can then proceed to make a decision. The referee can decide to view the footage on one side of the pitch, or choose to go with the advice of the team.
The Do’s and Don’ts of VAR
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) was instrumental in the approval of the technology in football. The board set out 12 soccer rules or principles. for it. These are considered the do’s and don’ts of VAR on the IFAB website:
|The Video Assistant Referee must have independent access to the match footage to assist the referee, to clear doubts|
|Referee must always make a decision.|
|The referee’s decision can’t be changed unless there’s video proof of error.|
|Only referee can initiate the review|
|Referee gives the final decision on the video and advice.|
|There’s no time limit for the video technology review|
|Players and Officials must not try to influence the referee during review|
|Referee must be in a visible position during review.|
|Any disciplinary action taken after the incident cannot be cancelled.|
|If the play stops and begins, the referee cannot review except in mistaken identity cases or serious violent conduct.|
|The period before and after play can be reviewed depending on the laws of the game.|
|Since the technology will “Check” any incident, coaches or players don’t need to request review.|
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