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Video assistant referee system needs improvement —FIFA

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A referee, using a video assistant before making a decision.
Photo: The Telegraph
The video assistant referee (VAR) technology being tested at
the Confederations Cup in Russia should be refined, the head of refereeing at
world soccer’s governing body, FIFA said on Monday.
“In general we have really good results but for sure
… many aspects should be improved,” Massimo Busacca told a news
conference.

VAR involves two video assistant referees who monitor the
action on screens and draw the match referee’s attention to officiating
mistakes.
FIFA has already said it would like to use video assistant
referees at the 2018 World Cup, and soccer’s law-making body IFAB is expected
to decide next March whether to allow them to become part of the game on a
permanent basis, Reuters stated.
But their use has caused confusion at the Confederations
Cup, especially during Sunday’s match between Germany and Cameroon when
on-field official Wilmar Roldan needed two reviews of an incident to send off
the correct Cameroon player.
Cameroon coach Hugo Broos complained that he did not
understand what was going on.
“I have to agree, it was too long… but in the end the
right player was sent off,” said Busacca.
There was also controversy when a video review denied Chile
a legitimate-looking goal in their 2-0 win against Cameroon on June 18, and it
was used again at the end of the same match to overturn a linesman’s offside
call and award Chile a goal
But the main criticisms are the time taken to make decisions
and the referees’ criteria in deciding when to use the system, with some close
calls being made without consulting the VARs.
Busacca accepted that reviews could take the gloss off goal
celebrations.
“It can reduce at some moments the enjoyment of soccer
because you have a celebration and then suddenly a review and you have to
change — so people can have to live with this,” he said.
In 12 group stage matches at the Confederations Cup, video
review helped correct six “game-changing decisions,” Busacca said.
Match officials ruled correctly on another 29 “major
incidents” with the help of the technology, he added.
“It’s important to mention today that clear mistakes
were not missed,” he said.
Busacca noted that if used correctly, the system could
reduce many mistakes but not eliminate them completely. FIFA was keen on
convincing member federations to use video review, he added.
Despite the controversy, FIFA President Gianni Infantino
said this month he was extremely happy with its use at the tournament.

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