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FIFA Votes to Bring Video Referees to Soccer Pitch in World Cup

  • FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the organization is

    FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the organization is "extremely happy" with the decision to allow VAR in the World Cup. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 March 2018

The long-awaited decision follows a unanimous International Football Association Board vote of approval earlier this month in lieu of a two-year trial period.

Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will be used in this year's World Cup Finals beginning in June, FIFA officials decided in Colombia on Friday. 


FIFA Authorities Debate Video Referees Ahead of 2018 World Cup

"We are going to have our first World Cup with video assisted refereeing," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said. "This has been adopted and approved and we are extremely happy with that decision."

The long-awaited decision follows a unanimous International Football Association Board (IFAB) vote of approval earlier this month in lieu of a two-year trial period.

"It's a decision based on the trials that were carried out in over 1,000 matches in the last two years that provide us with guarantees and concrete facts that VAR definitely helps referees," Infantino said.

The incorporation of VAR will provide a more transparent system for both players and fans, according to FIFA. From Twitter, FIFA council member Reinhard Grindel showed his support, explaining that clear communication is vital to a successful tournament.

"It will help to have a more transparent and fairer sport, which is what we want because the referee has his work cut out for him already and sometimes he can make mistakes – like any human being – and if we can help him to correct some of these mistakes, let's do so."

VAR promises greater accuracy through playbacks, which will guarantee the dutiful delivery of red cards, penalty awards, mistaken identities and goals.

FIFA officials also voted Friday to bring an open ballot to the 2026 World Cup bidding process. The FIFA Congress will meet again June 13 to elect the host for the next international soccer tournament.

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