FIFA Unveil New VAR-like System Where Managers Can Challenge Refereeing Decisions By Making A Certain Gesture


Football is mirroring cricket and Tennis by testing a first-of-its-kind challenge system instituted by FIFA in which managers will have the power to gesture in a certain manner to signal for video review of a refereeing decision.

The gesture basically entails a manager twirling their finger in the air to request for a certain call made by the referee to be reviewed.

It has been termed as the “Football Video Support” (FVS) and it is seen as a simplified option for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

The first trials for this new initiative have already been conducted by the governing body of football, FIFA, in Zurich.

Teams based on current stipulations will be allowed just two challenges every match and it will come into play for situations such as goals, penalties, red cards, and in cases of mistaken identity. 

If the teams calling for the review win their challenge, they would retain that review, just like it’s being done in other sports.

Managers can push for a review by twirling their fingers and giving a card to the fourth official before explaining what they would like to be reviewed by the referee at the pitch-side monitor. 

Players can urge their gaffers to call for a review, however, the onus of making a decision rests on the shoulders of their manager.

Reports of the FVS system are coming less than a week after it was revealed that Premier League clubs will vote in June 2024, on whether to get rid of VAR or stick with it – a move which was triggered by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Pierluigi Collina Lauds New Challenge System Initiative By FIFA

FIFA head of referees, Pierluigi Collina has had great words to say about the Football Video Support, as he expressed in the initial trials held in the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup in Zurich that the outcome was very “positive”.

The Italian refereeing great said: “The outcome was very, very positive. We aim to continue to trial this new system, namely in our youth competitions. 

“We hope to be able to give all of you who have indicated an interest in the possibility to implement this system in your competitions.”

FVS has initially been put in place for competitions that do not have the resources to use VAR, which makes use of multiple cameras and officials.

A key thing to note will be the manner in which fans and managers react when they lose a review, and if the system is somehow abused due to time-wasting tactics.

Reports indicate that trials are not set to be extended to top leagues and competitions, as FIFA want to keep their evaluation in-house with their youth tournaments currently.

When was VAR Introduced To Football?

There have been mixed feelings from footballing enthusiasts since the introduction of VAR in 2016.

A goal being reviewed by VAR

A spectrum of the divide feel that technology has dampened the fun and thrilling side of the sport, as the joy of fans is sometimes short-lived due to the cancellation of goals, or rescinding of important decisions.

There are also others on the opposite end, who feel that it has brought more legitimacy to the sport, with calls being made rightfully on several occasions, as opposed to years past when teams often felt cheated and bitter due to wrong calls going against them.

Those who have criticized the emergence of the Video Assistant Referee, often point towards officials being incompetent, as they feel the technology is not to be blamed.


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