Bogota, March 17: FIFA has approved the use of video assistant referees (VARs) in this year’s World Cup in Russia, the international football governing body has said.
The technology was approved by rule-making board IFAB earlier this month but FIFA was yet to ratify its use for football’s showpiece tournament, which will be played in Russia from June 14 to July 15.
“We are going to have our first World Cup with video-assisted refereeing,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino told reporters on Friday after a meeting of FIFA’s ruling council in Bogota, Xinhua news agency reported.
“This has been adopted and approved and we are extremely happy with that decision. It’s an essential decision, very important and historic decision.”
VAR allows officials to review and overturn referee decisions for incidents including goals, penalty awards, red cards and mistaken identity.
The system has been used in Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A this season as well as some English FA and League Cup matches. It was also trialled during the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
Infantino accepted the VAR was “not perfect”, but said it ensured “a fairer and more transparent sport”.