FIFA has informed all member associations that the world football governing body will take full operational control of Video Assistant Referees (VAR), amidst controversy in the English Premier League.
Mattias Grafstrom, FIFA’s deputy general secretary for football in a letter on Monday, June 29, told all 211 associations of the decision.
According to Sky Sports, the International Football Association Board [IFAB], football’s lawmakers, have previously worked closely with FIFA on the development and implementation of VAR in all competitions, including technological matter, training and education.
Grafstrom’s letter reads: “We are proud that the introduction of VARs has been a universal success, with the implementation of the VAR system now complete in over 100 competitions globally.
“Following the successful launch period where FIFA worked in conjunction with The IFAB, we would like to inform you that all VAR-related activities will now transfer to FIFA.”
All VAR-related questions, comments or suggestions have been directed to FIFA from July 1.
Last year, former Arsenal manager and FIFA’s chief of global football development, Arsene Wenger called on Premier League referees to use pitchside monitors before making decisions using VAR.
“That, for me, is the most important worry,” said Wenger, after a meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in Belfast.
“The referee needs to have a monitor to check if he was right or wrong. He will gain in credibility, especially, knowing that the people at VAR have yet the experience to make these kinds of decisions. He has a review to see if he was right or wrong. That is important for his confidence as well.”
He added: “I think it’s working much better than we think. You want VAR to intervene at the right moment. They are not the ones who should make the decisions but the ones who help the referees make the right decisions.”
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta on Tuesday criticized VAR for reviewing an incident involving Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah who was subsequently sent off for foul play but did not review Jamie Vardy’s tackle on Shkodran Mustafi which left the defender with multiple wounds on his face.
Arteta said on Sky Sports, “I don’t understand the rules. I never see a referee check any of the images. But I can do nothing now, it is the rules.”
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