FIFA is going to use Video Assistant Review VAR in the Russia 2018 World Cup. This is is the first time it's going to get used in a major tournament.

Under this new rule there are 4 reviewable actions:

  1. Goals
  2. Penalties
  3. Direct Red Cards
  4. Mistaken Identities

When it comes to reviewing any of the actions, does a team have to challenge or argue a call, or is it the referee itself triggering the event?

Also when reviewing goals, how far back in time would the referee or the video assistant referees go? The answer to this can be straight forward if the goal was actually offside and shouldn't have counted. But what if there was a foul or another offside that wasn't called earlier on before the last time the ball was stopped?

1 Answer 1


The video assistant referee team (VART) constantly checks all play for any of the four situations, and searches for clear and obvious errors in such a case.

Each member of the VART has a particular role.

  • The VAR leads the VART and is in communication with the referee at all times and performs the main review of each incident, via two screens showing five different camera perspectives.

  • The first assistant VAR (AVAR1) keeps track of live play while the VAR is reviewing an incident.

  • The second assistant VAR (AVAR2) checks actual and potential offside situations to pre-empt a review of those cases via two camera perspectives (one in each half) and a 3D computer-aided offside line display.

  • The third assistant VAR (AVAR3) supports the VAR, communication between VAR and AVAR2, and tracks the TV programme or broadcast feed.

If an incident is identified that may require intervention by a VAR review, they communicate by radio to inform the referee.

That referee then has two choices, determined by criteria that all the officials are briefed on: change the decision based on VAR information, or perform their own review with a special monitor at the side of the field.

Both are signalled with the official VAR review signal, followed by either an immediate decision or the on-field review. They may also delay a restart to communicate with the VAR - this is not an official review.

All information summarised from the FIFA VAR information website.

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