Recent developments confirm that replays of incidents reviewed by video assistant referees (VAR) will be displayed on big screens, as the technology is set to be deployed in the upcoming Russia 2018 world cup later this year.
This is to afford spectators the chance to see what moments in a game are being reviewed as well as why any decision is reached, although the footage will not be shown live in the stadium when the referee is making a call.
According to FIFA, the replays will be shown later to ensure that refereeing decisions are not influenced by spectators. Additionally, there will be four video assistant referees present at every game in the Russia 2018 World Cup.
“Everything will be centralised in a single location in Moscow and all referees will be based in Moscow,” explained FIFA’s referees’ chief Pierluigi Collina in the course of a training seminar organised at Coverciano, near Florence.
It was also disclosed that two groups of referees and 63 assistants will be trained for the World Cup over the next two weeks in Coverciano, while workshops will be organized on the VAR system which will be in use in the tournament for the first time.
A former Italian referee Roberto Rosetti gave insight on how VAR would work in the course of the tournament.
“There will be four VAR officials. The VAR principal will communicate with the main referee and can suggest that he comes to verify images on the sidelines,” explained Rosetti.
“The VAR assistant number one will be in charge of following the match live while the review is taking place. VAR assistant number two will be specially in charge of off-side.”
The technology will see that offside players are watched by two specially-adapted cameras. The VAR principal will be assisted by a third VAR assistant who’ll focus on the respect of protocol whilst assuring that there is good communication between the whole team. There will be additional four technicians who’ll manage screens and camera angles, alongside a FIFA representative who will be present to relay decisions with explanations on giant screens.
“We have to remember that the the very clear objective and the success of VAR will also depend on how it is understood,” said Collina.
“It’s about avoiding clear and obvious major errors. It’s not a question of refereeing the match with technology. The goal has never been to check every minor incident.”