Video assistant referees (VAR) will be used at this year’s World Cup in Russia after International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved the technology.
The decision was unanimously cleared in an IFAB meeting that took place at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland on Saturday.
VAR has been previously tested in some domestic English cup games this season, and was used in Germany and Italy.
Following the meeting, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who chaired the meeting, said, “As of today, video assistant referees are part of football and this is certainly very important news.”
“This topic was discussed and debated for decades. VAR is good for football, is good for refereeing, it brings more fairness in the game and, for these reasons, we have decided to approve VAR,” the Independent quoted Infantino as saying.
The final decision on the use of VAR will be taken at the next FIFA Council meeting in Colombia on March 16.
The FIFA president said, “Of course it will have an impact on the World Cup and on the matches, and it will have a positive impact on the matches, this is what the studies show.”
The IFAB said the VAR will be used, with the intention of minimising unfairness caused by ‘clear and obvious errors’ or ‘serious missed incidents’, in relation to goal / no goal, penalty / no penalty, direct red card (not second yellow card)and mistaken identity (when the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player).