Collina: We want to make VAR more accessible globally

12 Mar 2021
  • The latest edition of ‘Living Football’ hears from legendary referee Pierluigi Collina

  • The Italian discussed VAR, the development of female match officials and more

  • Arsene Wenger also featured this week in FIFA’s new football magazine

There are few, if any, more iconic referees in the history of the game than Pierluigi Collina. The much-respected Italian was a familiar figure during a storied career, which was capped by overseeing the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final™.

Now Collina has another key role of influence as Chairman of FIFA’s Referees Committee, with his position encompassing the development of officials and all aspects of officiating.

“The objective of FIFA is to have fair results on the field of play and technology can help achieve this objective,” he says. “Part of President Infantino’s vision for the future is to make VAR more affordable for a larger number of member associations. We are trying to find a solution that can be implemented with a lower number of cameras available.”

Collina also discussed the enhanced focus on developing female match officials on the back of Brazilian referee Edina Alves Batista making history at the recent FIFA Club World Cup™ (as discussed in episode 2 of Living Football).

“We were happy of the very good performance of Edina and her assistant referees, but we were not surprised,” he said. “All the decisions in terms of referee selections are taken because of quality."

Asked about female referees featuring at the FIFA World Cup, Collina said: “We are preparing referees, we are not preparing male or female referees, so the criteria [is] quality.

“There will be time to make this decision, and I wish all the referees – male and female – to have the opportunity to be part of this competition, because it is an experience I lived twice in my life and I can say it is simply great.”

Watch the ‘Living Football’ magazine above to hear Collina’s memories of Korea/Japan 2002, starting out in his career, his current role and the rising prominence of female referees.