World Cup: All What You Need To Know About Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Technology

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) TechnologyI’ve been prompted to write a detailed review about Video Assistant referee (VAR) Technology following heavy criticisms of VAR from Nigerians and Africans alike. Africa have been bundled out of the 2018 world cup tournament and a lot of Nigerians think VAR played a key role in kicking Africa out of the tournament. Some even said VAR technology was introduced to eliminate African teams from the World cup! In this post, I will explain VAR technology better and give deep insight including instances where VAR technology was used and how it favored African teams.

What is VAR and how does it work?

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Video Assistant referee is a team of three people who work together to review certain decisions made by the main referee by watching video replays of the relevant incident . It is a major innovative way to minimize human errors made by the referee during a game. VAR is football’s first use of video technology to reach more correct decisions.. The team is comprised of the video assistant referee himself (VAR), his assistant (AVAR) and a replay operator. They are situated in a video operation room which is essentially a room full of monitors offering different camera angles. The VAR team have the best viewing angles and full access to all 33 cameras in the stadium and communicates with the referee via a special fibre-optic radio. The VAR has no power to overrule a decision, he can only review a decision by the referee and help him make a but the final decision is made by the referee himself.

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Technology

What are the rules of VAR?

The video assistant referee team supports the decision-making process of the referee in four critical game-changing situations:

1. Penalty decisions and offences leading up to a penalty including foul leading up to penalty
2. Goals and offences leading up to a goal.
3. Direct red card incidents only.
4. Mistaken identity

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Technology

Did FIFA introduce VAR technology just because of the world cup?

CAPITAL NO! VAR have already been in existence since last year with Italian Serie A and German Bundesliga already using the technology. The only reason the English premiere league are not using it yet is because more than half of the club voted against it. It’s only a matter of time before they join other leagues who have implemented it.

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Technology

Can VAR also make a mistake?

Yes it can ! No technology is 100% perfect. I’ll give instance where made mistakes in the world cup. However, I can say with full confident that VAR is 90% accurate. 90% accuracy in any exam is excellent and I commend FIFA president Gianni Infantino for introducing this excellent technology into football. If the English Premiere League choose to remain in the stone age, that’s their problem.

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Technology

Instances where VAR was used in the World cup and their verdicts according to top football analysts.

Sengal vs Colombia – Senegal denied penalty
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision

South Korea vs Germany – Kim goal awarded after initial offside call
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision

Mexico vs Sweden – No penalty for Hernandez handball
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision

Nigeria vs Argentina – Nigeria denied penalty
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision (Yes it was poor defending by Rojo, the handball was however not intentional)

Iran vs Portugal – Iran awarded penalty
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Wrong decision (Unintentional handball)

Iran vs Portugal – Ronaldo awarded penalty
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt – Saudis given second penalty
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Wrong decision

England vs Panama – Kane awarded hat-trick
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision

Belgium vs Tunisia – Hazard awarded penalty
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision

Nigeria vs Iceland – Sigurdsson blunders late lifeline
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision

Brazil vs Costa Rica – Neymar dives for a penalty
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision

Iran vs Spain – An offside equaliser
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision

Sweden vs South Korea – VAR-assisted penalty decision
VAR: Yes

Verdict: Correct decision

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) TechnologyVideo Assistant Referee (VAR) Technology

Was VAR really against African teams?

From the analysis above, the answer is a BIG FAT NO. VAR made the right call almost in all the games. The only mistake VAR did in an African game is between Egypt and Saudi Arabia which analysts recognized but it’s not an African witch hunt. It was South Korea’s late goal, confirmed by VAR, knocked Germany out of the FIFA World Cup yet they didn’t cry wolf. VAR made a mistake against Portugal yet Portugal qualified. Lack of quality and preparation caused Africa to exit the world cup in such a disgraceful manner. You cannot give what you don’t have !

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