In spite of criticisms that have trailed the use of Video assistant referees (VAR), FIFA President, Gianni Infantino insists the tool helps referees make better decisions in the field of play.
VAR will be used at the 2018 World Cup for the first time after the world football governing body formally approved the technology for the tournament in Russia.
The system, has been used in some English cup games, in Germany and Italy, has often been described as “embarrassing” due to the delay it imposes on decision making while a game is on.
But Infantino believes the mistakes made by referees in the conventional matches are way higher than those made with VAR, according to statistics.
“We need to live with the times,” said Infantino.
“We wanted to give the referees tools so they can make better decisions, and in the World Cup some very important decisions are made.”
He added: “It’s not possible that in 2018 everyone in their living room knows a few seconds after the play whether a referee has made a mistake and the referee doesn’t.”
“I was sceptical at first, but without trying you cannot know what it’s worth.
“Without VAR, a referee can make one important mistake every three matches. With VAR, the figures we have seen from the trials that have been held show that a big mistake is made once every 19 matches,” Infantino added.
VAR was first used at the Club World Cup in December 2016, and trialled in the 2017 Confederations Cup. And the system has been approved to be used in Russia this summer.
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