What is VAR? Details About Football’s VAR Technology


In today’s professional football matches, VAR technology is widely applied. So what is VAR? How does VAR technology work? How does it apply and impact professional football matches? Let’s find out in this article by Football Skills.

What is VAR technology?


VAR (Video Assistant Referee) is a video-assisted technology that supports referees. VAR technology is used in football to help referees make the most accurate decisions in difficult and controversial situations through recorded video footage.

VAR technology was approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in 2016. It was first tested in August 2016 in a professional football match in the Major League Soccer. After successful testing, VAR technology was officially applied for the first time in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Since then, this technology has been widely implemented by FIFA in major international tournaments such as the EURO, World Cup, and Copa America.

Up to the present time, top football leagues in the world such as the English Premier League and La Liga have also adopted VAR technology.

VAR technology has demonstrated its role in helping referees make important decisions in many FIFA professional football matches. With the support of VAR technology, the modern world of football is expected to bring absolute fairness and accuracy.

Where are VAR technology cameras placed?


To make VAR technology work effectively, a camera system is required to be installed in the football field. VAR cameras are placed in various positions to provide multiple different angles of view.

In the World Cup 2022 qualifiers, the VAR technology system at the My Dinh Stadium had 33 cameras of different types. Among those 33 cameras, there were 8 high-speed cameras and 4 super high-speed cameras (120 frames per second). All cameras used in VAR technology have Ultra HD image resolution (extremely sharp).

When is VAR technology used?

According to FIFA’s regulations, VAR technology is only used in certain specific situations during a match. These situations include penalty kicks, determining fouls, goals, and direct red cards.

1. Controversial goals


When there is a dispute about a goal, VAR is used to help the referee review the entire process of scoring. If even the slightest mistakes such as handball, shirt pulling, simulation, or offside within a few centimeters are detected, the goal will not be accepted.

2. Penalties


The penalty area is where situations leading to penalties often occur. Therefore, VAR technology proves to be very useful and frequently used in this area.

A penalty kick has a significant impact on the outcome of a high-level football match. Therefore, the referee making accurate decisions with the assistance of VAR will make the match fairer.

3. Direct red cards


In situations of fouls with fast-paced play, the referee may not be able to see and decide to issue a direct red card. In such cases, VAR comes into play. In some instances, when the main referee only shows a yellow card but receives advice from the VAR team, the main referee can reconsider and potentially change their disciplinary action.

A direct red card situation can change the course of a match significantly. Therefore, VAR technology is applied in unclear situations to bring fairness to the matches.

4. Identifying referee mistakes


Professional football involves many high-speed situations that the main referees may not keep up with. Therefore, when potential errors are detected in assessing a situation, the VAR team will inform the main referee.

After being informed by the VAR team, the main referee will temporarily halt the match to use VAR technology. The main referee will draw a rectangular shape in the air, indicating the small TV screen located outside the field.

In this designated area, the main referee will consult with the VAR team and carefully review the situation from various angles, including slow-motion camera footage.

After reviewing the situation meticulously and from different perspectives, the main referee must make the final decision directly. There are certain limitations to the review process to ensure minimal disruption to the game.

Advantages and disadvantages of VAR technology


VAR technology is a breakthrough in the world of football with many advantages. The most important advantage that everyone can see is that VAR helps football matches to be played more fairly and accurately.

However, this technology also has some disadvantages, notably causing interruptions to the game. Sometimes VAR technology can reduce the excitement of a match by disallowing narrowly scored goals.

VAR technology is continually being upgraded to minimize disruptions in matches. Although it is not yet perfect, this technology will undoubtedly bring the fairest and most accurate football matches.

How much does VAR technology cost?


VAR technology has many advantages in supporting the organization of high-level football matches. However, currently, VAR technology cannot be widely applied in football tournaments due to its high cost.

The cost of using VAR is usually calculated per season, estimated at around 6.2 million USD per season. According to financial statistics from Manchester United, a match using VAR in the English Premier League would cost them approximately £10,000.

Therefore, we can see that the cost of using VAR technology is quite high. With this cost, VAR technology is still far from reach for developing countries.

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