The controversial Video assistant referee technology (VAR) will make its debut at the World Cup in Russia this summer, Fifa president Gianni Infantino said Friday. This comes despite lingering opposition from within and outside football over the disruptiveness of the technology.
“We are going to have in 2018, for the first time, a World Cup with VAR,” said Infantino after a meeting of the Fifa Council which, as expected, rubber-stamped the go-ahead given by the rule-making International Football Association Board (IFAB) in Zurich two weeks ago.
The World Cup will see VAR used to judge whether or not a goal has been scored, analyse whether a penalty should be awarded, decide on red cards and rectify if a player has been mistakenly sanctioned.
One of the problems that dogs VAR, say its critics, is not the accuracy of its decisions but the time it takes to arrive at them. It’s a drawback which has left many fans and purists frustrated that the flow of a game is interrupted but Infantino sees it differently: “The intervention of VAR takes one minute on average in each game. If we lose a minute to correct mistakes, I think we have done something good,” he said.
One thing is sure though…there won’t be any ‘Hand of God’ goal at the World Cup. So, what do you think about VAR? Express your passion in the comment section.