What is VAR?


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Alongside Germany being dumped out of the World Cup at the group stages, VAR has probably been the most talked about topic. We have seen it used in situations where the right decision has been made when a referee originally got it wrong, but we have also seen it used when it probably shouldn’t have been. There is little doubt that VAR will eventually help the game, and iron out the mistakes, but this is going to take time and it will not become perfect overnight.

To sum up VAR at the World Cup so far, it has been good and had a positive effect, but there is a lot to work on and improvements to be made. New betting companies should be ready to adjust their market rules when VAR is implemente in the Premier League. 

How Does VAR Work?

At the World Cup we have seen VAR work by using the referee on the field as well as those sat in a studio with television pictures to look at. One important point that FIFA wanted everyone to know going into the World Cup was that every decision would be left to the referee on the field, and that has been clear so far. Those in the studio are for assistance, and to tell the referee he needs to look at something he may have missed, but they don’t actually tell him what decision to give.

This is an important advancement for VAR, and really speeds up the game, something that fans who are against VAR have criticised it for.

What Does VAR Cover?

The initial idea behind VAR was to take out any huge mistakes made by the referee. These ‘game changing’ decisions are still the decisions that VAR cover, goal scoring opportunities, penalties and potential sending off offences.

For VAR to be a success and to be brought into football full time across the world, it is vitally important that the list of things covered by VAR does not increase. The one potential problem that people keep bringing up about VAR is that it will slow down every game of football, and this is something that fans do not want. Keeping things simple and small will aid with bringing sceptical fans on board, and allow VAR to grow around the world.

Why the Premier League Voted Against VAR

two-thirds majority voted against the use of VAR for the upcoming Premier League season, but agreed that further trials will take place. If teams do not yet feel comfortable using the system that is fine, but trials have to continue because the only way things will improve is with trial and error.

One area for improvement that a lot of Premier League clubs have asked for is better communication about VAR decisions to the fans inside the ground. This is seemingly key for Premier League clubs, and certainly key for the fans who are watching, so make sure you keep your eye out for this improving over the course of the 2018/19 Premier League season.

VAR won’t be seen full time just yet, but work is continuing to make VAR as good as it can possibly be. 

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