Football's laws body approves VAR for World Cup

Referee Paul Tierney waits for a VAR decision during the English FA Cup 5th round replay football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Rochdale at Wembley Stadium in London on February 28

The International Football Association Board (Ifab) is expected to decide whether to approve the use of video assisted refereeing (VAR), a system that would allow referees to look again at key decisions that have been made in a split second.

But coaches emerging from the Sochi meeting said they were ready to ring in the changes - even if the system had not ironed out all the kinks. In the US' Major League Soccer, for instance, it decided the outcome for matches soon after its introduction.

The International Football Association Board, consisting of British and Fifa representatives, met in the Dolder Grand hotel on the outskirts of Zurich on Friday night, just hours before it will vote on what could be the biggest change in world football in recent years.

The referee can opt to use VAR on decisions concerning the awarding of goals, penalty kicks, offsides, the issuing of straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

A trained referee with access to a video monitor, and in constant communication with the main match official, checks all such decisions.

Infantino points out that the referees' decisions during the trial have been 99 percent correct compared to 93 percent correct before.

Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino told Reuters on Monday that he remained committed to VAR. The whole stadium is kept in the dark for minutes on end not knowing what's going on while the players stand around - maybe boiling hot, maybe in pouring rain - waiting to discover the outcome before the game finally carries on.

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The VAR was used at nearly every available opportunity during the first half of Wednesday's FA Cup replay between Tottenham Hotspur and Rochdale.

Ifab has refused to respond to the complaints raised on Wednesday - and on numerous other occasions in all the other countries where it has been used - but is understood to admit more work must be done to refine the system. Then you either celebrate or you scream.

Speaking at a press conference, Infantino continued: "Together with our colleagues we have taken some very important decisions today". Footage from matches at all games at top-flight grounds is already piped into the Stockley Park facility, including more than dozen camera angles.

IFAB technical director David Elleray said that the video assistant had a complex and technical role.

"The referee is not sitting at home with a cup of coffee in one hand and a mobile phone in the other, watching TV and giving the referee a call when something goes wrong". I am not sure that the system is going to help. Is that too long?

"If we can limit the errors and get the game flowing as much as we can.to lose some fluency is worth it to get more of the decisions right".

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