The FIFA council has approved the use of Video Assistant Referee’s (VAR) at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Gianni Infantino, the president of football’s governing body, has confirmed the last step towards giving match officials high-tech help in Russia was agreed to on Friday.
International Football Association Board (Ifab), which consists of Fifa and the Football Associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, “unanimously approved” the introduction of VAR on a permanent basis earlier this month with the novel tech voted to be written into the laws of football.
VAR has been trialled in some domestic English cup games this season and has been used in Germany and Italy. It was also used in the Club World Cup in December 2016 and trialled in the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Announcing the news Infantino said: “We are going to have our first World Cup with video assisted refereeing. This has been adopted and approved and we are extremely happy with that decision.”
“It’s a decision based on the trials that were carried out in over a thousand matches in the last two years that provide us with guarantees and concrete facts that VAR definitely helps referees.
“It will help to have a more transparent and fairer sport which is what we want because the referee has his work cut out for him already and sometimes he can make mistakes – like any human being – and if we can help him to correct some of these mistakes, let’s do so.”
The VAR system has not been without controversy with reviews often being slower than promised leaving fans frustrated that the flow of the game is disrupted and communication has been unclear in the stadiums.
A total of 36 referees, plus their teams of assistants, are being trained by Fifa for World Cup duty.