Video refs 'won't hinder' officiating

Sports | 14 Jun 2018

Despite lingering doubts about the use of video assistant referee in Russia, Fifa's refereeing bosses insist that it will help - not hinder - officiating at the World Cup.

The VAR system has been the source of confusing decisions and long delays while situations are checked during testing in both the German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A.

Fifa director of referees Massimo Busacca admits the system has been rushed in for the World Cup, but insists officials are ready and VAR will help referees make better decisions. "We ran very fast getting it ready, but we are convinced of it," said Busacca. "We are ready."

Busacca compared the VAR to the teams vying for the trophy in Russia. "No national team arrives at the World Cup perfect - it's the same for us," he said.

Busacca believes delays while situations are checked are worth the sacrifice for lowering the risk of wrongly-awarded goals.

Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the referees committee at Fifa, rejected the notion that the VAR removes some spontaneity.

The presence of the VAR often leaves players unsure whether to celebrate, or wait until the goal is given. "Would you rather a wrong goal be celebrated?" Collina asked. "The outcome is what counts."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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