VAR decisions to be explained live during 2023 Women's World Cup

Explanations of video-assisted refereeing (VAR) decisions at the 2023 Women’s World Cup will be broadcast, both in stadiums and live on television, Pierluigi Collina, chair of FIFA’s referees committee, said on Tuesday. The aim is to make the VAR decision process “more transparent,” he said.

This is the first time that VAR will be explained this way at a major tournament. It was tested at the Club World Cup in Morocco this year and during the U20 World Cup in Argentina last month.

According to Collina, the trials were conclusive. “We want to give more transparency and a better understanding of refereeing decisions,” he said. “The referees present in Sydney have already tried out the public address system on the training pitches and everything is going well,” he added. “We are convinced that this new tool will be very positive.”

“We want to give more transparency and a better understanding of refereeing decisions”

The World Cup kicks off in Australia and New Zealand on Thursday. During matches, referees will be able to consult a screen on the edge of the pitch to review important incidents, before explaining their decision, the reason for it and the players involved, and give a brief description of the situation to the public via a microphone attached to their shirt.

One concern persists on the referees’ side, Collina said. They will all have to explain their decisions in English, even those whose mother tongue is not English, which puts them under extra pressure. “In any situation, there are arguments for and against,” said Collina. “We will then discuss what is best for the future.”

Referees have also been instructed to limit the loss of effective playing time.



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