VAR (Video Assistant Referee) is a technology induced in the football world to help in creating fairness in game situations, basically an aid to our referees today.


How does VAR work?

VAR has been introduced in the top 5 leagues in the world namely; English Premier League, Bundesliga, La liga, Serie A and Ligue 1.

So how does VAR work?. Whenever there is a contradiction to the referees ruling in the field , VAR is responsible to control the situation and give a final decision.VAR uses very powerful cameras that are all over the pitch. After watching the TV replays back at the VAR studio, the final decision is then passed to the referee on the pitch using an earpiece which the referees in the pitch must have. The referee controlling the game then gives a signal where he draws a rectangle using his hands which means that the VAR has made a final decision after which he acts upon it. In a case where VAR is taking longer than usual to make a decision , there is a TV near the football pitch where the referee can go and check out the replay closely and carefully and withdraw a decision from there. VAR is not associated with every problem in the field and is only used on special situations of which are discussed below.

Situations where VAR is used.

There are four clear situations where VAR judgement can be used

1. Red cards

VAR judgement is used to check alleged red cards. Did the player commit a serious foul to give him a red card.All red card fouls or incidents must be checked by VAR.

2. Yellow/ red cards

VAR cannot be used to judge yellow cards but only red cards. If a player commits a serious foul and is given a yellow card, the players can request a VAR check where the referee can change his decision and give him a red card instead.

3. Goals

VAR must make judgement on every goal as to whether it stands or ruled out. There can be a possible offside or a foul leading to goal or in other cases the ball might have been played outside leading to goal.

4. Penalties

For fouls inside the penalty box, VAR must intervene and give a final decision. Fun fact, most penalties have been awarded this season after being reviewed by VAR.

Who has the final say?

VAR has the final decision on serious matter in the pitch. The referee has three decisions to make. He can follow his colleagues decision or wait for the VAR decision or go check out the TV replays off the pitch.

VAR has helped today’s football in creating fairness in and off the pitch but it also has its disadvantages in that it slows the pace of the game and there is too many pauses in the game. Is VAR efficient in football today? You decide.

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