What is “VAR”?

The video assistant referee (VAR) is a football assistant referee who reviews decisions made by the head referee with the use of video footage and a headset for communication.
In 2018, VARs were written into the Laws of the Game by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) following trials in a number of major competitions. Learn more...


The VAR Team

The team consists of the video assistant referee (VAR) and his three assistant video assistant referees (AVAR1, AVAR2 and AVAR3).
Four replay operators select and provide the best camera angles. Two of them pre-select the most likely camera angles while the other two provide the final angles chosen by the VAR and the AVAR2 for each checked or reviewed incident.

VAR
VAR
The VAR watches the main camera on the upper monitor and checks or reviews incidents on the quad-split monitor. He is responsible for leading the VAR team and communicating with the referee on the field of play.

AVAR1
AVAR1
The AVAR1 concentrates on the main camera and keeps the VAR informed about live play if an incident is being checked or reviewed.

AVAR3
AVAR3
The AVAR3 focusses on the TV programme feed, assists the VAR in evaluating incidents and ensures good communication between the VAR and AVAR2 located at the offside station.

AVAR2
AVAR2
The AVAR2 is an assistant referee located at the offside station. He anticipates and checks any potential offside situations to speed up the VAR check and review process.

The Cameras

The video assistant referee team has access to 33 broadcast cameras, eight of which are super slow-motion and four of which are ultra slow-motion cameras. In addition, they have access to two offside cameras. These two cameras are only available to the video assistant referee team.


The Decision Process

Throughout a match, the video assistant referee team constantly checks for clear and obvious errors related to the following four match-changing situations. The VAR team communicates with the referee only for clear and obvious mistakes or serious missed incidents.
The video assistant referee team supports the decision-making process of the referee in four game-changing situations:
Goals and offences leading up to a goal

Penalty decisions and offences leading up to a penalty

Direct red card incidents only

Mistaken identity

VAR Information System

For each match, a staff member informs the broadcasters, commentators and infotainment about the different steps of the review process, including information about the reason for the review and the outcome of the review, via a networked touch tablet.
The person operating the tablet is located in the video operation room and has access to the audio from the referee communication system as well as the camera angles the VAR is looking at. The VAR information system will also be used to automatically create VAR-specific graphic templates for TV and the giant screen in the stadium.