“The idea phase is over, available during the second half of the season”
A mobile app for spectators at German stadiums to view VAR decisions (Video Assistant Review) could be available “during the second half of the season”. This was announced by the project manager. Fans in stadiums have long complained of being kept in the dark about VAR decisions. Television viewers can see everything that managers are examining, but in stadiums there is normally only a large screen where decisions are announced and little more. “We agree that a stadium spectator app can be a tool. The idea phase is over, now we are in the planning phase and wondering how the implementation can be successful,” said the former referee Jochen Drees, who now works for the German Football Association (Dfb), to dpa.
“The best standard should simply be that fans in the stadium and TV viewers see the same images during VAR situations. The fan in the stands should be on the same level as the TV viewer,” explains Drees who states that it is still necessary to clarify a series of issues that could delay the app, such as restrictions on media rights. The same images could also be featured on the big screens so that no one misses anything and fans don’t spend too much time on their phones. Another possibility in the pipeline in Germany is the idea of following the English example and publishing the verbal communication between referees and video assistants. “I’m optimistic that this innovation can be put to use before the end of this season. We’re relatively far along in thinking about the content,” she said, while acknowledging that privacy concerns still need to be resolved.