Video assistant referees (VAR)

How video assistant referees improve the game

A referee reviewing video footage

When are VARs used?

Three main incidents (plus one administrative) have been identified as game-changing. Only these are part of the VAR experiments.

Football and gloved hand

Goals

The role of the VARs is to assist the referee to determine whether there was an infringement that means a goal should not be awarded. As the ball has crossed the line, play is interrupted so there is no direct impact on the game.

Football

Penalty decisions

The role of the VAR is to ensure that no clearly wrong decisions are made in conjunction with the award or non-award of a penalty kick.

Red card being issued

Red card incidents

The role of the VAR is to ensure that no clearly wrong decisions are made in conjunction with sending off or not sending off a player.

Shirt with a question mark

Mistaken identity

The referee cautions or sends off the wrong player, or is unsure which player should be sanctioned. The VARs will inform the referee so that the correct player can be disciplined.

How do video assistant referees (VARs) work?

Step 1

Incident occurs

The referee informs the VARs, or the VARs recommend to the referee that a decision/incident should be review.

Incident occurs

Step 2

Review and advice by VARs

The video footage is reviewed by the VARs, who advise the referee via headset what the video shows.

Review and advice by VARs

Step 3

Decision or action is taken

The referee decides to review the video footage on the side of the field of play before taking the appropriate action/decision, or the referee accepts the information from the VARs and takes the appropriate action/decision.

Decision or action being taken