Fifa names 13 video assistant referees for 2018 World Cup

VAR system was approved in March after two years of trials but concerns still remain

Video assistant referees watch a practice match as they train in the use of the technology ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Photograph: Brian Homewood/Reuters

Video assistant referees watch a practice match as they train in the use of the technology ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Photograph: Brian Homewood/Reuters

 

Fifa named the first World Cup Video Assistant Referees (VARs) on Monday, with three Italians included in the 13-man list.

The selection of the officials, who are all active pitch referees, was based on their experience in using the VAR system which has been trialled in a number of competitions around the world, Fifa said in a statement.

In choosing the officials, Fifa also considered “successful participation in several preparatory seminars and Fifa competitions, where they enhanced their VAR knowledge and skills by using the system”.

The European referees named were Daniele Orsato, Paolo Valeri and Massimiliano Irrati of Italy, Artur Soares Dias and Tiago Martins of Portugal, Bastian Dankert and Felix Zwayer of Germany, Pawel Gil of Poland and Danny Makkelie of the Netherlands.

Serie A, the Bundesliga and the Primeira Liga are among the leagues which have used VAR this season.

Mistakes

The others were Abdulrahman Al Jassim of Qatar, Wilton Sampaio of Brazil, Gery Vargas of Bolivia and Mauro Vigliano of Argentina.

Fifa said some of the previously-selected pitch referees and linesmen would also act as VARs during the tournament in Russia.

The VAR system was approved by soccer’s law-making body IFAB in March after about two years of trials, although there are still concerns that it is not working as smoothly as it should.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino is a strong proponent of the system and says it has been shown to cut the number of mistakes and lift the pressure on match officials.

But critics say decisions are poorly explained to the crowd and have led to goals being disallowed unexpectedly, several minutes after being scored, or penalties being revoked with the ball on the spot and the attacking player ready to take the kick.

The VAR, who sits in a special room with video monitors and is in constant communication with the main match official, checks all decisions which could potentially decide a game.

If a “clear and obvious” mistake is spotted, the incident can be reviewed and changed. The referee, who has access to a pitchside monitor, can also initiate a review himself.

– Reuters

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.