Thursday, 9 July 2020

FIFA to take over from IFAB in running of VAR Implementation

FIFA has taken over from IFAB in leading the implementation of the Video Assistant Refereeing project, effective as of 1st July 2020. 

IFAB, the International Football Association Board, write:

"The IFAB’s role in VAR implementation is now over,  and we are pleased that FIFA, as of today [1st July 2020], will continue the important work of supporting all competition organisers with the implementation of VARs across the globe. 

While The IFAB will continue to work closely with FIFA - especially in terms of the VAR protocol, related Laws and qualification requirements - we kindly ask you now to interact directly with FIFA and its VAR team."

Andrés Cunha made history at FIFA World Cup 2018.

So, what does this mean for refereeing en praxis? Chair of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina, gave some indication of that in an interview with Reuters today.

"If something is written in the laws of the game, it has to be implemented everywhere; saying that VAR should be used in the same way all over the world is something obvious. Of course there can be some small differences, but the general implementation should be the same."

Pierluigi Collina left his role with UEFA in 2018.

It remains to be seen how far FIFA will intervene in individual associations and confederations interpretations of "clear and obvious". One would imagine that would extend to procedural uniformity (On-Field Reviews for all subjective decisions in all competitions), and also that should include interpretational uniformity in objective situations (eg. goalkeeper remaining on the goal line during a penalty kick).

The big question is whether that will include more interpretational uniformity in subjective situations (penalties, red cards) at all, or to what extent.

In any case this marks a departure from IFAB's more laissez-faire leadership of Video Assistant Refereeing. In January of this year, IFAB Secretary Lukas Brud said "we are not the police", in dismissing the notion that IFAB would consider  suspending the VAR system in competitions who are not following the protocol.

Roberto Rosetti replaced Collina as UEFA Chief Refereeing Officer 

Only time will tell how interventionist FIFA will become, if at all, in altering individual associations and confederations such as UEFA's, interpretation of clear and obvious, but Collina's interview today suggests that at least some of Roberto Rosetti's guidance to match officials for using VAR in European competition will have to change.


  1. Another very important news for UEFA refereeing:
    Due to the current situation, UEFA has postponed the introduction of VAR in Europa League group stage. It will be used only from KO stage, as it was for this season. Then, from 2021/22 season, EL group stage should be covered by VAR as well.

  2. Speaking of VAR, did anyone watch some of the decisions from the Premier League overnight? There was a lot of controversy.
    Your thoughts on these decisions and the Premier League's implementation of VAR??

    1. For me all three decisions are wrong, with the missed penalty in Tottenham game being the most blatant mistake.

      But this is nothing new, PL refereeing has been execrable throughout the whole season, and the way VAR is used in England remains a joke. If someone would make a compilation of all wrong decisions in PL supported by VAR, it would be at least a 2 hours long video.

    2. Also on the weekend in MUN-BOU the VAR seemed to be checking a potential offside from Rashford before the Greenwood goal. However, Bournemouth briefly were in possession between the two incidents, so from my understanding it was objectively wrong to check this in the first place, but yet they wasted like a minute or so on it

  3. Predictions for UCL?

    1. Real Madrid (ESP) / Manchester City (ENG) vs Lyon (FRA) / Juventus (ITA)
    2. Leipzig (GER) vs Atlético (ESP)
    3. Napoli (ITA) / Barcelona (ESP) vs Chelsea (ENG) / Bayern München (GER)
    4. Atalanta (ITA) vs Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)

  4. 1. Wolfsburg (GER) / Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) vs Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) / Basel (SUI)
    2. LASK (AUT) / Manchester United (ENG) vs İstanbul Başakşehir (TUR) / Copenhagen (DEN)
    3. Internazionale Milano (ITA) / Getafe (ESP) vs Rangers (SCO) / Leverkusen (GER)
    4. Olympiacos (GRE) / Wolves (ENG) vs Sevilla (ESP) / Roma (ITA)