Main 3 Pros and Cons of Football Video Assistant Referee


Pros and Cons of Football Video Assistant Referee

In the modern era of football, technology has made its way onto the field, with the introduction of the Football Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system. This revolutionary technology aims to improve the accuracy of refereeing decisions and enhance fairness in the game. However, like any innovation, VAR has its fair share of supporters and critics. In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of the Football Video Assistant Referee, exploring its impact on the game and the controversies surrounding its implementation.

Understanding the Basics of Football Video Assistant Referee (VAR)

Football Video Assistant Referee, commonly known as VAR, is a technological system introduced in football to assist referees in making more accurate decisions during matches. It involves the use of video footage and instant replay to review key incidents such as goals, penalties, red card offenses, and mistaken identity.

The Pros of Football Video Assistant Referee

Increased accuracy of refereeing decisions: Studies have shown that VAR can significantly reduce the number of “clear and obvious errors” made by referees. For example, a study by the University of Liverpool found that VAR reduced the number of incorrect decisions by referees by 33%.

Increased fairness of the game: VAR can help to ensure that all teams are treated equally and that no team is unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged by refereeing decisions.

Reduced controversy: VAR can help to reduce controversy and debate around refereeing decisions. This can make the game more enjoyable for fans and players alike.

The Cons of Football Video Assistant Referee

Slows down the game: VAR can add significant time to the game, as referees may need to review video footage before making a decision. This can disrupt the flow of the game and make it less exciting for fans.

Can be subjective: VAR decisions can still be subjective, even if they are made based on video footage. This can lead to disagreements between fans and pundits about whether a decision was correct.

Can be used to influence the outcome of the game: VAR can be used by teams to influence the outcome of the game. For example, a team may deliberately commit a foul in the penalty area in the hope that the referee will award a penalty after reviewing the video footage.

Overall, the pros and cons of VAR are still being debated. However, there is no doubt that VAR has had a significant impact on football. It has increased the accuracy of refereeing decisions, reduced controversy, and helped to ensure that all teams are treated equally. However, it has also slowed down the game and can be used to influence the outcome of the game. It remains to be seen whether the pros of VAR outweigh the cons.

Here are some additional stats on VAR:

The first-ever use of VAR in a football match was in a friendly between the Netherlands and Italy in 2016.

VAR was used at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and it has since been adopted by most major football leagues around the world.

In the 2018/19 Premier League season, VAR was used to overturn 38 refereeing decisions.

VAR has been criticized by some for slowing down the game, but it has also been praised for increasing the accuracy of refereeing decisions.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use VAR is a complex one. There are both pros and cons to consider, and the decision will likely vary depending on the specific league or competition.

VAR’s Impact on Game Flow and Momentum

The introduction of VAR has undoubtedly impacted the flow and momentum of football matches. While the intention is to achieve fairness, the frequent pauses and interruptions during VAR reviews can disrupt the natural rhythm of the game. Teams may struggle to regain their momentum, and the overall dynamics of a match can be altered.

VAR in Major Tournaments and Leagues

VAR has been implemented in major tournaments and leagues around the world. Competitions such as the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, and domestic leagues like the English Premier League and La Liga have adopted VAR to varying degrees. Its usage has generated intense discussions and debates among players, coaches, and fans.

The Future of VAR and Potential Improvements

As VAR continues to evolve, there is room for improvement and refinement. The feedback and experiences gained from its implementation can guide future developments. Some potential improvements include reducing review times, enhancing communication with fans during VAR incidents, and establishing clearer guidelines for subjective decisions.


Football Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has undoubtedly sparked both admiration and criticism within the football community. While its aim to improve decision-making accuracy and fairness is commendable, the system is not without its flaws. The pros of VAR, such as enhanced accuracy and fairness, must be weighed against the cons, including potential disruptions and subjective interpretations. The future of VAR lies in finding the right balance and addressing the concerns raised by its implementation.

Also, recommadated to read “How Long is a Duration of a Professional Soccer Game?”


  1. Can VAR decisions be overturned?

Yes, VAR decisions can be overturned upon reviewing the video footage and determining that the initial decision was incorrect.

  1. How does VAR impact the length of football matches?

VAR reviews can lead to additional minutes added to the end of each half, contributing to the lengthening of the overall match duration.

  1. Are all incidents in a football match subject to VAR review?

No, not all incidents are subject to VAR review. VAR is typically used for goals, penalties, red card offenses, and cases of mistaken identity.

  1. Is VAR used consistently across all football leagues?

VAR implementation varies across different leagues and competitions, with variations in its application and usage.

  1. Can fans inside the stadium see the VAR incidents?

In some stadiums, large screens are available to display the VAR incidents to the fans inside the stadium. However, the availability of VAR replays for spectators depends on the stadium and the specific regulations in place.

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