Experiments with Video Assistant Referees (VARs)

Does the implementation of Video Assistant Referees improve the game?



Focus on fairness, developing the game at 131st IFAB AGM

The 131st Annual General Meeting of The IFAB took place today at Wembley Stadium in London, and saw a new strategy approved, which will see the Laws of the...

FIFA Mar. 07, 2017

Van Basten: Video Assistant Referees are good for football

Marco van Basten, FIFA’s Chief Officer for Technical Development, sat down with FIFA.com to give his take on the style of play at the tournament, as well a...

FIFA Mar. 07, 2017

Antlers down Atletico Nacional to reach final

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FIFA Dec. 14, 2016

Video review used for penalty decision in FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016 semi-fi...

Video replay technology has been used in the awarding of a penalty for Japan’s Kashima Antlers during their FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016 semi-final win o...

FIFA Dec. 14, 2016

Video Assistant Referees to be tested at FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016

An important piece of history will be made at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016 (8‑18 December in Yokohama and Osaka) with video assistance being used to ...

FIFA Dec. 13, 2016

FIFA to take part in second IFAB workshop on video replay experiments

As preparations gear up for the start of IFAB-sanctioned experiments with video assistant referees (VARs), FIFA will play an important role in an education...

FIFA Nov. 23, 2016

Extraordinary progress’ made on VAR

The possibility of having video assistant referees (VARs) in football continues to move forward with The IFAB and FIFA working closely with interested leag...

FIFA Nov. 23, 2016

FIFA holds successful first official “semi-live” tests with Video Assistant Refe...

On 1 September 2016, FIFA successfully conducted its first official “semi-live” Video Assistant Referees (VAR) test during the friendly match between Italy...

FIFA Nov. 23, 2016

How do VARs work?


Incident occurs

The referee informs the VARs or the VARs recommend to the referee that a decision/ incident should be reviewed.


Review and advice by VARs

The video footage is reviewed by the VARs who advise the referee via headset what the video shows.


Decision or action is taken

The referee decides to review the video footage on the side of the field of play before taking the appropriate action/ decision Or the referee accepts the information from the VARs and takes the appropriate action/ decision.

When are VARs used?


The role of VARs is to assist the referee to determine whether there was an infringement that means a goal should not be awarded. As the ball has crossed the line, play is interrupted so there is no direct impact on the game.

Penalty decisions

The role of the VAR is to ensure that no clearly wrong decisions are made in conjunction with the award or non-award of a penalty kick.

Red card incidents

The role of the VAR is to ensure that no clearly wrong decisions are made in conjunction with sending off or not sending off the player.

Mistaken Identity

The referee cautions or sends off the wrong player, or is unsure which player should be sanctioned. The VARs will inform the referee so that the correct player can be disciplined.