VAR at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™
During the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the 13 selected Video Match Officials will be appointed in each match as VAR, AVAR1, AVAR2, AVAR3
In addition to the 13 Video Assistant Referees, some of the Referees and Assistant Referees who were selected for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia will also act as Video Match Officials during FIFA’s main competition. These appointments will be made before the matches.
5 essential facts you didn’t know about VAR
- A video assistant referee team supports the match officials during all 64 matches. The video assistant referee team is located in a centralised video operation room in Moscow
- The video assistant referee team has access to all relevant broadcast cameras and two dedicated offside cameras. The video assistant referee does not take any decisions; he supports the referee in the decision making process and the final decision can only be taken by the referee.
- Football fans will be informed about the review process by broadcasters, commentators and infotainment. The VAR Team
The team consists of the video assistant referee (VAR) and his three assistant video assistant referees (AVAR1, AVAR2 and AVAR3). All video assistant referee team members are top FIFA match officials.
Four replay operators select and provide the best camera angles. Two of them pre-select the most likely camera angles while the other two provide the final angles chosen by the VAR and the AVAR2 for each checked or reviewed incident.
WHAT DOES A VAR ACTUALLY DO?
A video assistant referee (VAR) has a very complex task when using video technology in a match at the at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. In this video, Felix Zwayer explains what a VAR actually does.
See the Video
MATCH-CHANGING INCIDENTS EXPLAINED
Roberto Rosetti, VAR Refereeing Project Leader explains how the review process functions when the VAR Team are checking or reviewing each of the four match-changing situations.
The Video Operation Room (VOR)
The video assistant referee team supports the referee from a centralised video operation room (VOR), located in the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Moscow. All relevant camera feeds from the 12 stadiums are provided to the VOR through a fibre optic network. The referee on the field at each stadium talks to the VAR team via a sophisticated fibre-linked radio system.
The video assistant referee team has access to 33 broadcast cameras, eight of which are super slow-motion and six of which are ultra slow-motion cameras. In addition, they have access to two offside cameras. These two cameras are only available to the video assistant referee team.
The Decision Process
The video assistant referee team supports the decision-making process of the referee in four game-changing situations:
Throughout a match, the video assistant referee team constantly checks for clear and obvious errors related to these four match-changing situations. The VAR team communicates with the referee only for clear and obvious mistakes or serious missed incidents.
For the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, the referees have received clear instructions on when to accept information from the video assistant referee and when to review the video footage on the side of the field of play before taking the appropriate action/decision.
On-Field Review (for interpretation)
- foul committed by attacking player
- offside interference
- foul leading up to penalty
- foul by attacking player
All direct red card incidents
VAR Advice Only (for factual incidents)
- offside position leading up to goal
- ball out of play leading up to goal
- foul committed inside or outside the penalty area
- ball out of play leading up to penalty
- offside position leading up to penalty
All cases of mistaken identity
Hand to the Ear
The referee can delay a restart at any time to communicate with the VAR. He will signal this by pointing to his ear.
This is not considered an official VAR review.
Official Review Sign
The referee will make the official VAR review signal to indicate that play has been stopped to review a decision with the on-field review monitor or to change a decision based on information received from the VAR.
An official VAR review only takes place if the referee makes the signal.
VAR Information System
To ensure that all football fans in the stadium and watching on TV are well informed during a review process, FIFA has developed a VAR information system for broadcasters, commentators and infotainment. For each match, a FIFA staff member informs the broadcasters, commentators and infotainment about the different steps of the review process, including information about the reason for the review and the outcome of the review, via a networked touch tablet.
The person operating the tablet is located in the video operation room and has access to the audio from the referee communication system as well as the camera angles the VAR is looking at. The VAR information system will also be used to automatically create VAR-specific graphic templates for TV and the giant screen in the stadium.