VAR decision in football – VAR technology has become an integral part of modern football, offering referees an additional tool to make crucial decisions on the pitch. However, as with any new technology, it has also brought a set of challenges and controversies, particularly when it comes to how teams can challenge VAR decisions.
If you’re a football fan or player, it’s essential to understand the rules, procedures, and requirements of challenging a VAR decision. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to challenge a VAR decision in football matches.
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What is a VAR Decision?
A VAR decision is a decision made by the VAR team after reviewing video footage of an incident on the pitch.
The VAR team is composed of experienced football referees who use video footage to assist the main referee in making difficult decisions. They are located in a control room, where they have access to various camera angles and replays to help them make informed decisions.
VAR decisions can be made in various situations, including offside calls, handball incidents, fouls, and penalty decisions. The types of VAR decisions include:
- Goals: The VAR team reviews every goal scored in a match to ensure that there was no offside, handball, or other infringement in the build-up to the goal.
- Penalties: The VAR team can advise the referee to award a penalty if they spot a foul or a handball incident that the referee missed.
- Red Cards: The VAR team can recommend that the referee gives a red card to a player who committed a serious foul or violent conduct.
- Mistaken Identity: If the referee gives a yellow or red card to the wrong player, the VAR team can assist in correcting the decision.
Learn more: What does VAR stand for in football?
When Can You Challenge a VAR Decision?
If you are a team or a player, there are specific eligibility criteria you need to meet to challenge a VAR decision in a football match. These criteria include:
- Captain’s Challenge: In some leagues, the captain of each team is allowed to challenge a VAR decision. They can do this by making a rectangular gesture with their hands towards the referee, indicating their desire to challenge the decision.
- Referee Review: In some cases, the referee may decide to review a VAR decision on their own. This can happen if the referee has any doubts about the accuracy of the decision or if they want to verify the decision before making a final call.
There are various types of situations where you can challenge a VAR decision, including:
- Offside Decisions: If you believe that a player was onside when the goal was scored, you can challenge the offside decision made by the VAR team.
- Handball Decisions: If you think that the ball did not touch a player’s hand intentionally or if the handball occurred outside the penalty area, you can challenge the handball decision made by the VAR team.
- Foul Decisions: If you believe that the VAR team missed a foul committed by the opposing team or if a foul was committed against your team, you can challenge the foul decision made by the VAR team.
- Yellow or Red Card Decisions: If you believe that the VAR team made a mistake in issuing a yellow or red card to a player, you can challenge the decision.
5 Steps to Challenge a VAR Decision
Check Your Eligibility to Challenge
Before you challenge a VAR decision, you need to check your eligibility to do so. You can do this by reviewing the VAR guidelines, which vary depending on the league or competition. Some leagues allow the captain of each team to challenge a VAR decision, while others only allow the referee to initiate a VAR review.
Submit a Request to the Referee
To challenge a VAR decision, you need to submit a request to the on-field referee. You can do this by making a rectangular gesture with your hands towards the referee, indicating your desire to challenge the decision. You must state the reason for your challenge and submit the request within the time frame specified in the VAR guidelines.
Wait for the Referee’s Response
After you submit your challenge, you need to wait for the referee’s response. The referee has a specific amount of time to decide whether to conduct a VAR review or reject the challenge. If the referee decides to conduct a VAR review, the on-field referee will communicate with the VAR team to initiate the review.
Follow the Procedures for a VAR Review
During a VAR review, the VAR team will review the footage and communicate with the on-field referee to provide them with the necessary information to make a decision. The on-field referee will have access to a video screen on the side of the pitch to review the footage themselves if necessary.
Receive the Final Decision
After the VAR review, the on-field referee will make a final decision based on the information provided by the VAR team. The final decision can either confirm or overturn the original decision made by the on-field referee. If the decision is overturned, the game will resume from the point of the original decision.
- Can any player challenge a VAR decision?
No, only the team captain or coaching staff can challenge a VAR decision.
- How long does the VAR review take?
The VAR review can take several minutes, depending on the complexity of the decision and the number of camera angles required to make a ruling.
- Can a team challenge a VAR decision more than once?
No, a team can only challenge a VAR decision once per match. If the challenge is unsuccessful, they cannot challenge again.
- Can the referee change their decision after a VAR review?
Yes, the referee can change their decision after a VAR review, based on the evidence provided by the VAR team. However, this is only possible if the decision is deemed to be a clear and obvious error.
Challenging a VAR decision in football matches can be a complex and challenging process, but it’s essential to ensure fair play on the pitch. In this article, we’ve provided you with a step-by-step guide to challenging a VAR decision, from checking your eligibility to following the procedures for a VAR review and receiving the final decision.
It’s important to remember that challenging a VAR decision should only be done if you have a legitimate reason and evidence to support your claim. It’s also crucial to follow the guidelines and procedures outlined by the referees and VAR officials.
A successful challenge can potentially change the outcome of a match and impact the team’s standings, while a failed challenge can lead to wasted time and resources. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully consider the situation before challenging a VAR decision.
In summary, challenging a VAR decision requires patience, understanding, and a clear understanding of the rules and procedures. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of a successful challenge and ensure fair play on the football pitch.
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