• Fourth IFAB workshop on video assistant referees (VARs) concludes in Zurich
• Three-day program was final workshop before participants start testing VARs in second year of experiment
• Decision about the future use of VARs is expected to be taken by IFAB in 2018 or 2019 at the latest

The fourth IFAB workshop related to experiments with video assistant referees (VARs) concluded at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Friday 1 June. The three-day program was the final workshop before many participants start testing VARs in the second year of the experiment.

The IFAB invited representatives from all associations and leagues participating in the experiments, as well all other interested competitions, to join the fourth workshop. The first day was dedicated to associations and leagues which are in the early stages of using VARs. The sessions highlighted the fundamental aspects related to the VAR protocol, referee and VAR training, technology setups and requirements for any competition to participate in the trials.

The second and third days discussed the experience gained over the last ten months, from the dozens of matches played in different parts of the world that were significant for refining the protocol and its practical applications.

"This workshop is very important for the experiment and overall success of VARs as associations and leagues will provide key feedback on the use of VARs so far and will participate in shaping the final protocol and implementation procedures for the future VAR concept," said IFAB Secretary Lukas Brud.

"The main value of coming to this IFAB workshop is to bring together all the countries that are involved in this important project and to share best practice," said former FIFA international referee Howard Webb. "We can all learn from each other about what works best and how we can try to take the project forward together. Even the countries that are a long way into this project can still learn new ideas from new participants that are coming into this process."

The participants were also presented with an analysis of match situations involving the VAR from the first phase of the experiment with a special focus on referee and VAR communication and application of the protocol. FIFA’s Football Technology Innovation department, headed by Johannes Holzmuller, also shared FIFA’s experience with the technological aspects, implementation procedures, technology setup and standardisation of equipment.

The IFAB – the independent body responsible for the Laws of the Game, in consultation with the football community – is supervising each experiment with the support of FIFA’s Football Technology Innovation department. A decision about the future use of VARs is expected to be taken by the IFAB in 2018, or 2019 at the latest.