Confederations Cup: Video assistant referees are ‘the future of football’ says Fifa

Referee Mark Geiger asks for a video review of Australia’s second goal, scored by Tomi Juric, against Germany

Fifa has defended the use of video assistant referees (VARs) in the Confederations Cup, saying the technology is ‘the future of football’.

The system has been used five times so far in Russia, causing confusion – at times – for spectators.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino said: “We have seen how video assistance has helped referees to make the correct decisions.

“I am extremely happy with VAR so far. This is a milestone tournament.”

Video assistance was introduced for the first time in a Fifa competition at the Club World Cup in Japan last December, and is being used in selected competitions.

England had their first experience of the technology last week when France defender Raphael Varane was sent off after a referral in their friendly match in Paris.

Portugal defender Pepe had a goal disallowed for offside after a referral to VAR against Mexico, while Chile forward Eduardo Vargas had a strike correctly ruled out for a very marginal offside against Cameroon.

His goal in the 91st minute was also referred to the video assistant referees – presumably to check on another possible offside – but it stood.

On Monday, Tomi Juric’s goal for Australia against Germany was allowed to stand despite a suspected handball after a review by the VAR.

Fifa said all five incidents were goal situations: four related to offsides, and one to a handball.

Infantino added: “The VAR tests during this Confederations Cup are also helping us to improve the processes and fine-tune communication.

“What fans have been waiting for over so many years is finally happening.”

Analysis

Former Everton midfielder Leon Osman, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live’s Monday Night Club:

You can’t blame the referees at all [for referring to VAR], because if they don’t look up what the players are claiming and it turns out it did happen then they’re going to get in an awful lot of trouble.

The problem…

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