Video assistant referee system needs improvement, says FIFA

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The video assistant referee (VAR) technology being tested at the Confederations Cup in Russia should be refined, the head of refereeing at world soccer’s ruling body FIFA said on Monday.

“In general we have really good results but for sure... many aspects should be improved,” Massimo Busacca told a news conference.

VAR involves two video assistant referees who monitor the action on screens and draw the match referee’s attention to officiating mistakes.

FIFA has already said it would like to use video assistant referees in the 2018 World Cup, and soccer’s law-making body IFAB is expected to decide next March whether to allow their use in the game on a permanent basis.

In 12 group stage matches at the Confederations Cup, video review had helped correct six “game-changing decisions,” Busacca said.

Match officials ruled correctly on another 29 “major incidents” with the help of the technology, he added.

Busacca said that if used correctly, the system could reduce many mistakes but not eliminate them completely. FIFA was keen on convincing member federations to use video review, he added.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said this month he was extremely happy with its use at the Confederations Cup, but it has stirred controversy in some matches.

Video review denied Chile a legitimate-looking goal in their 2-0 win against Cameroon on June 18, and it was used again at the end of the match to overturn a linesman’s offside call.

It was also used to book three players involved in a brawl in Mexico’s game against New Zealand last week during a long video review in stoppage time.

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