Previously, video assistant referees have gotten general approval, and now it seems that FIFA Council is moving to do the same. The FIFA Council has authorized the use of VARs at the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia. This nifty tool will help referees make decisions on difficult calls involving penalties and goals, mistaken identity, red cards, and any offenses leading up to specific moments.
If understood from the theoretical perspective, this should help reduce the changes of a country being sent home early due to bad calls — a possibility given the mess that happened at the last World Cup.
While FIFA Council has allowed the use of video assistant referees, they are bound to face criticism. Officials have vowed to minimize the disruption while observers check an incident, there are those arguing that any use of VARs will slow down matches and that’s not acceptable to them.
Additionally, VARs tend to operate out of central hubs, such as the Moscow hub that will be used for the 2018 World Cup. This leads to concerns that it could lead to overseers inputting undue influence over decisions across multiple matches. It’s worth mentioning that VARs only come out for glaring errors or serious missed incidents. For example, if a player takes a dive, only the referees will be involved in the call.