FIFA has taken over the ownership of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology from the Premier League.
This means the Premier League has lost control over its use of the technology protocol.
Pierluigi Collina, the chairman of Fifa’s Referees’ Committee, will now oversee VARs. The former Italian referee stated that he wants the system to be used the same way across the world.
In its first season in the English top-flight, the VAR has endured several controversies, with fans growing frustrated with the technology due to its inconsistent use compared to other European leagues and other competitions.
Controversies of VAR in the Premier League
One of the major talking points of the technology in the Premier League is the reluctance to allow referees to consult with the pitch-side monitors and make the final call. This is unlike what obtains overseas, the Champions League, and Europea League. The use of those monitors by the central referees has been to god effect.
Fifa, in a letter sent to national football associations, said it has taken over all VAR-related activities from the International FA Board (IFAB), who govern the game’s laws.
The latest development means Collina will now be supervising the technology by taking over from David Elleray, IFAB’s technical director. The former English referee has been described as the chief architect of VAR.
“All VAR-related activities will now transfer to Fifa. Therefore, please address all your VAR-related questions, comments or suggestions directly to Fifa Refereeing,” part of the letter reads.
The VAR during its debut season in the Premier League has overturned 94 decisions. The technology as expected is to push ahead with plans to have a margin of error for offside decisions next season.
Another debate about the VAR in the Premier League is the insistence that the technology can’t be used to judge whether a goalkeeper has moved off his line at penalty kicks, which was contrary to Collina’s wishes. This also gives a defender more leeway when the ball strikes their arm.
With the decision to reduce Elleray’s influence, it means FIFA will now have more influence over the four British associations, who have privileged positions on IFAB.