There is no doubt that the IFAB the organization responsible for the Laws of the game have moved from the position that they held for many years that there was one set of laws for all football games played.

Goal line technology was their first major change knowing full well that costs were so prohibitive it would only be used at the Elite level of the game.

How I would love to see the cost of manufacture and installation reduce to a point that all Football League and senior Non-league clubs could be in a position to have it

It has certainly proved its worth at Premier League level.

The IFAB are now moving with some haste to introduce the Video Assistant Referee something that I have advocated for a number of years

The IFAB through Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA, announced after their annual meeting at Wembley earlier in the month that Video Assistant Referee Technology would only be applied to key incidents concerning goals, red cards, mistaken identities and penalties.

So we now all await the introduction of Video Assistant Referees to ease the current trend of key major errors at the elite level of our game.

You can if you wish tune into the odd MLS game to see how their experiment with VAR is progressing.

Clarification has also been given that the system will be referee led with the VAR sitting in isolation either on the media truck parked outside the ground or in a designated room.

I have been a long time supporter of this introduction but I guard against anyone thinking that this will lead to games without any errors.

Let us look at a goal scored with no flag raised by the assistant, yet a suspicion of offside. If the system is referee led, does this mean that the VAR does not interfere in the process unless the referee makes that rectangular sign saying we need to look at a replay.

To make accurate judgments on offside you cannot rely on a camera that is not in line with the second rearmost defender. Camera angle distort the view.

If no signal from the referee the “offside” goal would stand.

What about the foul outside the area with the attacker in full flow and the referee waves aside any appeals.

Does the VAR at this point verbally advise the referee that a DOGSO offence has been committed?

The big question is will the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee promote weak refereeing.

Will it operate in a positive manner to deter simulation or those off the ball foul challenges that currently have gone unseen?

Will we ever see it implemented at the top level of non-league football where games are covered by television?

Article: Keith Hackett (
Image: Reuters Media

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