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Historic call: VAR voted into laws of the game

Soccer Confed Cup Mexico Russia

Referee Fahad Al Mirdasi looks at a video screen during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)


VAR is here to stay.

On Saturday, as expected, IFAB (The International Football Association Board) voted to add Video Assistants Referees into the laws of the game.

The landmark decision was a unanimous one at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland as FIFA and the four British associations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) all voted to introduce VAR permanently.

Below is the official announcement released by IFAB with plenty of intrigue to see exactly how quickly this new rule is ushered in at the top level of the game.

FIFA has confirmed it will vote on using VAR at the World Cup when it next meets on March 16, while the Premier League has yet to decide if it will be implemented next season.

The International Football Association Board (The IFAB) unanimously approved the use of video assistant referees (VARs) at its 132nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) that took place at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich today.

The philosophy of VARs is ‘minimum interference – maximum benefit’ which aims to reduce unfairness caused by ‘clear and obvious errors’ or ‘serious missed incidents’ in relation to:

  1. Goal / no goal
  2. Penalty / no penalty
  3. Direct red card (not 2nd yellow card/caution)
  4. Mistaken identity (when the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player of the offending team)

The principles of a VAR Implementation Assistance and Approval Programme (IAAP), to be overseen by The IFAB in conjunction with FIFA, was also approved to ensure consistency and quality in competitions that want to use VARs. The IFAB members approved a draft VAR Handbook containing compulsory protocol, principles and requirements, as well as advice on the implementation of VARs, to enable competitions to complete the rigorous mandatory approval process.

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