The live communication of the decisions of the VAR is being tested on the occasion of the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco. The experimentation was approved by the Ifab annual meeting in January 2023 and the president of the FIFA referees’ committee, Pierluigi Collina explained the reasons: “We decided to do this process because we received some requests to make the decision more understandable by the referee after an intervention by the Var for all the players in football, i.e. the spectators at the stadium, or in front of the television”, explained Collina. “As language could be one of the issues, we thought this FIFA Club World Cup would be perfect because it’s a multilingual competition, with teams and, of course, spectators involved from all six different continents.”
The process is something football fans around the world will surely consider an innovation, although in some other sports the use of such technology to inform fans of match officials’ decisions is more common. “I have to say that there are other experiences in other sports, especially the NflL in American football, that have been doing this for quite some time. It seems that referees are quite comfortable with this system,” Collina continued. “In football, language could be an issue, especially when you have to make this announcement in a language that is not your native language. It might not be that easy. But as the announcement will be quite concise, I am very confident that the referees will feel at ease.” The process will continue until the final in Rabat on 11 February, while discussions are currently underway on a further trial process at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia later this year Depending on the outcome of these paths, use at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand 2023 in July and August has not been ruled out.