FIFA approves VAR use at World Cup

VAR will make its World Cup debut in Russia after FIFA officially ratified its use on Friday.

The video assistant referee (VAR) system is used in Italy's Serie A   -  Getty Images

FIFA has approved the use of VAR for the first time at the World Cup during a meeting of the organisation's council in Bogata.

Earlier this week, VAR won official approval from the International Football Association Board [IFAB], football's rule-making body, at its annual general meeting in Zurich.

The FIFA Council convened on Friday in Colombia, where president Gianni Infantino confirmed the decision had been taken to use the controversial technology.

"We also spoke about football, we're going to have our first World Cup in 2018 with [the] video assistant refereeing system," Infantino told a news conference. 

"This has been adopted and approved and obviously we are extremely happy with that decision.

"Yes, as I said before, that's an essential decision, a historic decision, based on [the] findings of IFAB two weeks back, more or less. 

"A decision based on trials carried out on over a thousand matches, provides us with guarantees that VAR definitely helps referees - will help for us to have a more fair and transparent sport. 

"The referee has his work cut out already and can make a mistake like any human being, if we can help him to correct these mistakes let's do so. That's our position. 

"We've looked at the technology to be ready for the World Cup. 

"We have complete faith in the head of our referee committee Pierluigi Collina and his team, extraordinary professionals who will prepare referees for the World Cup."

VAR is already in use in Germany's Bundesliga and Serie A in Italy, while it has been trialled in the FA Cup and EFL Cup in English football.

FIFA also used the system at last year's Confederations Cup.

The technology is designed to help referees with key decisions, including goals, penalties, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

However, there has been plenty of criticism of VAR, not least over the amount of time taken for referrals during matches, while there have been complaints over confusion caused for coaches and fans.

Infantino has previously spoken of his desire to see VAR used at the World Cup, although predecessor Sepp Blatter published a tweet to express his disapproval.

LaLiga has already confirmed that VAR will be used in Spain next season, but UEFA said it will not roll out the system yet in the Champions League.

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