VAR at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™
"I'm definitely in favor of the VAR, because it makes football for sure much more honest."
"With the use of the technology, the mistakes will be diminished and there will be more justice in football."
5 essential facts you didn’t know about VAR
- A video assistant referee team supports the match officials during all 64 matches. Learn more
- The video assistant referee team is located in a centralised video operation room in Moscow. Learn more
- The video assistant referee team has access to all relevant broadcast cameras and two dedicated offside cameras. Learn more
- The video assistant referee does not take any decisions; he supports the referee in the decision making process and the final decision can only be taken by the referee. Learn more
- Football fans will be informed about the review process by broadcasters, commentators and infotainment. Learn more
The VAR Team
The team consists of the video assistant referee (VAR) and his three assistant video assistant referees (AVAR1, AVAR2 and AVAR3). All video assistant referee team members are top FIFA match officials.
Four replay operators select and provide the best camera angles. Two of them pre-select the most likely camera angles while the other two provide the final angles chosen by the VAR and the AVAR2 for each checked or reviewed incident.
The VAR watches the main camera on the upper monitor and checks or reviews incidents on the quad-split monitor. He is responsible for leading the VAR team and communicating with the referee on the field of play.
The AVAR1 concentrates on the main camera and keeps the VAR informed about live play if an incident is being checked or reviewed.
The AVAR3 focusses on the TV programme feed, assists the VAR in evaluating incidents and ensures good communication between the VAR and AVAR2 located at the offside station.
The AVAR2 is an assistant referee located at the offside station. He anticipates and checks any potential offside situations to speed up the VAR check and review process.
WHAT DOES A VAR ACTUALLY DO?
A video assistant referee (VAR) has a very complex task when using video technology in a match at the at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. In this video, Felix Zwayer explains what a VAR actually does.
MATCH-CHANGING INCIDENTS EXPLAINED
Roberto Rosetti, VAR Refereeing Project Leader explains how the review process functions when the VAR Team are checking or reviewing each of the four match-changing situations.
The Video Operation Room (VOR)
The video assistant referee team supports the referee from a centralised video operation room (VOR), located in the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Moscow. All relevant camera feeds from the 12 stadiums are provided to the VOR through a fibre optic network. The referee on the field at each stadium talks to the VAR team via a sophisticated fibre-linked radio system.
The video assistant referee team has access to 33 broadcast cameras, eight of which are super slow-motion and six of which are ultra slow-motion cameras. In addition, they have access to two offside cameras. These two cameras are only available to the video assistant referee team.
The Decision Process
The video assistant referee team supports the decision-making process of the referee in four game-changing situations:
Goals and offences leading up to a goal
Penalty decisions and offences leading up to a penalty
Direct red card incidents only
Throughout a match, the video assistant referee team constantly checks for clear and obvious errors related to these four match-changing situations. The VAR team communicates with the referee only for clear and obvious mistakes or serious missed incidents.
For the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, the referees have received clear instructions on when to accept information from the video assistant referee and when to review the video footage on the side of the field of play before taking the appropriate action/decision.
VAR Information System
To ensure that all football fans in the stadium and watching on TV are well informed during a review process, FIFA has developed a VAR information system for broadcasters, commentators and infotainment. For each match, a FIFA staff member informs the broadcasters, commentators and infotainment about the different steps of the review process, including information about the reason for the review and the outcome of the review, via a networked touch tablet.
The person operating the tablet is located in the video operation room and has access to the audio from the referee communication system as well as the camera angles the VAR is looking at. The VAR information system will also be used to automatically create VAR-specific graphic templates for TV and the giant screen in the stadium.