How Will VAR Affect Matches?

By World Cup 2018

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The new Video Assistant Referee system

Referees have been told to keep their flag down for tight offside calls, to enable the VAR system to make the correct decision. It is the first year that the VAR system is being used, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

“They were told to keep the flag down when there is a tight offside incident and there could be a very promising attack or a goal-scoring opportunity because if the assistant referee raises the flag then everything is finished,” Italian former referee Collina said on Tuesday.

“If the assistant referee keeps the flag down and the play goes on and maybe a goal comes at the end, there is a chance to review the goal using the technology – If you see some assistant referee not raising the flag it’s not because he’s making mistakes,” said Collina.

The VAR system was tried out last season in Germany and Italy in some domestic English cup games. It is put in place to be able to make more accurate decisions on the following incidents;

  1. Goals – including ‘missed’ attacking offences in the build-up
  2. Penalties – awarded and not awarded, including ‘missed’ attacking offences in the build-up
  3. Direct red cards
  4. Cases of mistaken identity where the wrong player is shown a red/yellow card


Replays of incidents reviewed by the VAR will be shown on big screens during the World Cup and the crowd will also be told when a decision is being reviewed and why a decision has been reached.

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