VAR is in the headlines after a controversial weekend of Premier League officiating. Here we explain how it is supposed to work…
Who is VAR?
The Video Assistant Referee is a qualified referee who watches the match in the VAR Hub at Stockley Park. They have a variety of screens and camera angles and the ability to watch slow-motion replays and are joined by assistants and a replay operator. Using what they see, they can advise on-field referees during matches.
When do they get involved?
The referee can call for the VAR to review a decision during a game. Or VAR can alert the referee to a “clear and obvious” error that has taken place, involving either a goal, a penalty decision, a direct red card or case of mistaken identity.
Only the referee can ask VAR to intervene; players and coaching staff cannot.
What do they have the power to do?
If the VAR’s view does not back up the on-field referee’s view, the VAR can recommend the decision is overturned.
The referee can either stand by their original decision or go to the Referee Review Area – the monitor at the side of the pitch – to have another look. Again, they can then either stand by their original call or change it.
The final decision lies with the referee.