Full kit for video refs

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

VAR (Video As­sis­tant Ref­er­ee­ing) refs at the World Cup will wear the full kit in Rus­sia – de­spite be­ing in a room no-one can see.

The VAR sys­tem is set to make its de­but at the World Cup af­ter be­ing tri­alled in com­pe­ti­tions across the globe.

It can be used in four sce­nar­ios – af­ter a goal has been scored, for penalty de­ci­sions, red card de­ci­sions or for a case of mis­taken iden­tity of a player who has been booked or sent off.

The calls are made in a secret lo­ca­tion in Moscow, of­ten miles from the sta­di­ums, by top level refs.

And, some­what bizarrely, those refs will have to wear the full kit – in­clud­ing top, shorts and socks – de­spite be­ing in an of­fice.

Pier­luigi Col­lina, chair­man of the FIFA Ref­er­ees Com­mit­tee, ex­plained: “I was asked why the VARs would have to wear a ref­er­ees’ kit. It’s be­cause they sweat like they do on the pitch, it’s not like watch­ing a game on the couch while drink­ing cof­fee.

“It’s about avoid­ing ma­jor and ob­vi­ous mis­takes, not ref­er­ee­ing with tech­nol­ogy, the goal has never been to check ev­ery mi­nor in­ci­dent.”

There are 35 ref­er­ees on duty for the World Cup who will al­ter­nate be­tween do­ing games on the pitch and in the VAR cen­tre.

There will then be an­other 13 ref­er­ees who of­fi­ci­ate ex­clu­sively watch­ing the con­trol screens in the Video Oper­a­tions Room.

Dis­cussing how the sys­tem will work, Roberto Rosetti, in charge of VAR for FIFA, said: “There will be four video of­fi­cials. The main VAR com­mu­ni­cates with the cen­tral ref­eree and can sug­gest whether he should come and check footage

“The VAR as­sis­tant No.1 fol­lows the match live, the No.2 deals specif­i­cally with off­sides and a third as­sis­tant is re­spon­si­ble for sup­port­ing the main VAR, to ver­ify the re­spect of pro­to­col and en­sure good com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the team.”

There will be two ad­di­tional cam­eras used at the World Cup, ex­clu­sively ded­i­cated to off­side de­ci­sions.

Se­bas­tian Runge, head of FIFA’s Tech­nol­ogy In­no­va­tion Group, said these will be “in­stalled at a height to re­in­force an area that, de­spite the 33 cam­eras used by broad­cast­ers, was not cov­ered op­ti­mally”. – Ex­press News­pa­pers

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