Technology is being developed every day to make things easier for humans, like industries, factories and farms and so on. Well, football hasn’t been left behind when it comes to technological advances, VAR has arrived and is here to stay.

What is VAR?

VAR stands for Video Assistant Referee, and it’s a refereeing assistance system, now used on football, used to avoid the human error that could change the result of a match. During the match, one or more AVAR are inside a special room where they can watch all the television fees and have access to replays.

Referee Antonio Mateu reviews the VAR footage before awarding Australia a penalty during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group C match between Denmark and Australia at Samara Arena on June 21, 2018 in Samara, Russia. (Photo by Simon Hofmann – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

When is VAR used?

VAR is used whenever any of the referees on the field feel like they need a little help with the decision they just made. Normally VAR would be used only on cases that could drastically modify the result of a match like goals, when the main objective of the VAR here is to make sure no infractions were made to avoid the goal. Once the ball has crossed the goal line, the match is interrupted, so the match’s rhythm is not affected in any way. Another similar case is with the penalties, when the VAR will avoid wrong calls about conceding (or not) a penalty kick. It is used also for calling red cards, and just like before, VAR will make sure the right decision was made, and last but not least, identity misunderstanding if a referee doesn’t give a card or calls the attention of a misbehaving player, VAR can inform the referee so he (or she) can take actions into solving the issue.

VAR In Action

Putting VAR in action is quite simple.The first step is given by the referee or one of his assistants that are sitting in a video room where they’re following the match frame by frame.  One of the two referees there then interprets that there’s an action that can be revised and tells the other referee. In that moment, the VAR referees replay the action as many times as they need to inform the main referee through hands-free headset they’re using.

When this moment arrives, it’s the main referee’s call to make the decision. He either takes for granted that his assistants opinion is correct or stops the match right there to check the action himself. In theory, this process shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

The implementation of this new system was commanded by Pierluigi Collina and other two former referees, with extraordinary careers, Italian Roberto Rosetti and Spanish referee Carlos Velasco. Two years of trials, errors, fixes and twitching brought VAR officially to the real world on Russia’s FIFA World Cup 2018. Consolidation of VAR was assured when FIFA authorized its deployment on Russia’s World Cup, with the Goal Detection System, that was already in use since FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

Everytime technology makes the king of sports better, everybody should celebrate. Technology should be used to make people happier, make things easier and ensure everything is right and correct.