VAR To Be Used In This Evening’s France V England Friendly

England are to experience use of a VAR (video assistant referee) for the first time, during their international friendly against France at the Stade de France on Tuesday evening.

FIFA had selected certain senior level international matches to trial the VAR before taking it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer.

Both the FFF and the FA had to agree to use this new exciting technology, which will be great experience for the Three Lions having never played a game with this system in use. On the other hand, VAR was used during France’s friendly with Spain back in March, with decisions going against them twice.

Antoine Griezmann thought he had headed France into the lead just after half time but referee Felix Zwayer consulted the extra official and the goal was quickly ruled out for offside against Layvin Kurzawa.

Then Spain’s Gerard Deulofeu had a goal ratified on referral when an offside flag was incorrectly raised.

VAR can only pass judgement on four decisions:

  • Goals where there may have been a violation or offside missed during the build-up
  • Penalty decisions
  • Red cards
  • Mistaken identity


The VAR trial was agreed at the meeting of the International Football Association Board meeting in Cardiff last June.

A briefing note released at the time read: ‘The aim of the experiment is NOT to achieve 100% accuracy for all decisions as there is no desire to destroy the essential flow and emotions of football which result from the game’s almost non-stop action and the general absence of lengthy stoppages. The philosophy is minimum interference, maximum benefit.’

France have only lost one of their previous six home games against the The Three Lions and will be looking for a win following their disappointing 2-1 loss to Sweden last weekend in a World Cup Qualifier. Whilst England have won just one of their last five friendlies away from home.