As the FIFA 2018 world cup kicks off today in Russia, a key sector that will be of great scrutiny is the officiating. Also, one of the big questions that will be answered at the end of the competition will be how critical the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system will be in the various decisions that will be made in the course of the competition.
The VAR technology is making its debut in footballs biggest stage after it was first tested during the confederations cup. The system is manned by a football assistant referee who reviews decisions made by the centre referee with the use of video footage and a headset for communication. The technology is used to review crucial decisions such as
Goals: The system will be used to determine if and there was an infringement or incident during buildups that may prevent a goal scoring opportunity.
Mistaken: VAR will clarify identity in the event of mistaken identity in card awarding decisions, or which players should be cautioned or sent off.
Penalty Decisions: Here, VAR will look to ensure that the right decision was made regarding the award or non-award of a penalty.
Red Card: VAR will help determine what actions are severe enough to constitute a red card decision, especially in cases where the centre referee had a poor view of the incident