Insight & Analysis

You must be having a VAR

Published: Jun 2018

World cup video referees forced to wear full kit, despite nobody being able to see them.

The 2018 World Cup is in full swing. Already, England have won, Germany have lost, and Spain and Portugal have played out what might be one of the games of the tournament. However, away from the pitch one of the most interesting stories to emerge from Russia involves referees.

For the first time, video technology, known as Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR), is being used at a World Cup. This sees an extra official sit in a truck outside the stadium watching TVs to help the on-field referring team with controversial decisions.

What is most odd is that these refs are being forced to wear the same kit as the on-field officials – long socks and all – despite being out of the public eye.

The reason given is quite something. FIFA’s head of referees, Massimo Busacca, simply said: “It [wearing the full kit] is the best way to remember you are a referee”.

So, if your team get knocked out of the World Cup this summer because of a poor VAR decision, you can’t put the blame on the VAR refs not knowing what they are doing – they are wearing the kit after all!

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