World Cup boost for VAR after ‘positive’ tests

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By 2018-01-24

Video assistant referees (VAR) could be used at the World Cup in Russia later this year after the committee responsible for the laws of football pronounced itself "encouraged" by tests.

Since March 2016, VAR has been tested in more than 20 competitions and in more than 800 matches, unleashing mixed reactions and a heated debate.

On Monday, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the rule-making arm of world governing body FIFA, heard a statistical presentation on the results and pronounced them "positive and encouraging". The board said on its website that "the experiment has been thorough".

IFAB said it would vote on a proposal to ensure international consistency in the use of VAR at its general meeting in Zurich on March 3. That could pave the way to using the technology in Russia.

"The philosophy we laid out from the start is being respected. We wanted the minimum of interference in the game and the maximum of benefit," said an IFAB spokesperson in a telephone interview.

In eight percent of matches video had a "decisive impact on the result" and in one in four a "positive impact", according to the report.

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