Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - FIFA to give VAR green light at World Cup

FIFA to give VAR green light at World Cup

FIFA to give VAR green light at World Cup

FIFA are expected to rubberstamp video assistant referee technology (VAR) for this summer’s World Cup despite lingering opposition from within and outside football.

Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, will oversee the governing body’s meeting in Bogota happy to give the green light to the system despite a long, personal spell of scepticism.

“VAR is something positive that will bring much more to the transparency of football,” said Infantino ahead of the FIFA Council meeting starting on Friday.

“Video refereeing isn’t going to be the solution to everything in football. What we want to do is avoid resounding mistakes by referees.”

At the World Cup in Russia from June 14-July 15, VAR will be used to judge whether or not a goal has been scored, analyse whether a penalty should be awarded, decide on red cards and rectify if a player has been mistakenly sanctioned.

The game’s lawmakers, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), had decided two weeks ago at its meeting in Zurich to support VAR at the World Cup.

VAR has been trialled since 2016 by around 20 federations including the German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A.

But it has not been universally welcomed with even UEFA, the European governing body, still to be convinced.

“Nobody knows exactly how VAR will work. There is already a lot of confusion,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who insists that VAR will not be used in next season’s Champions League.

“I am not at all against it but we must better explain when it will be used. We will see at the World Cup.”

One of the problems that dogs VAR, say its critics, is not the accuracy of its decisions but the time it takes to arrive at them.

It’s a drawback which has left many fans and purists frustrated that the flow of a game is interrupted.

“The intervention of VAR takes one minute on average in each game. If we lose a minute to correct mistakes, I think we have done something good,” said Infantino.

However, Colombia coach Luis Fernando Suarez added: “It seems hurried to me. I think we should do other trials in other tournaments, analyse them well, and then put it in place.”

Suarez, who led Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup, in Germany, and Honduras in 2014 in Brazil, remains a fan in general of the use of technology in football, which he has witnessed close up.

That came in the 2014 tournament when his Honduras team played France in Porto Alegre when the first goal decided through GLT (goal-line technology) was awarded to France.

“It’s good and necessary that there are changes but it’s essential that we don’t lose the essence of football,” Suarez said.

Elsewhere at the FIFA Council meeting, discussions will be held on the presentation of the two dossiers for hosting the 2026 World Cup where Morocco is battling against a joint USA-Canada-Mexico bid.

Host countries for the 2019 Under-17 and Under-20 world championships will also be decided.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,