2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

14 June - 15 July

2018 FIFA World Cup™ 

Refereeing and VAR at the 2018 FIFA World Cup: A new era for football

A few days after Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana signalled the final whistle, FIFA looks back extremely satisfied with how the referees performed at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and how the historic implementation of Video Assistant Referees (VARs) contributed to the resounding success of refereeing at the tournament.

“We said we wanted this to be the best World Cup ever and it’s been the best World Cup ever. A crucial role in this achievement was played by the referees who excelled with performances of the highest standard," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Following the fundamental decision to use VARs at the World Cup, FIFA is extremely happy with the overwhelming acceptance of VAR by players, coaches, fans and the media.

FIFA’s Deputy Secretary General (Football), Zvonimir Boban, who oversaw the entire VAR project, underlined the importance of the revolutionary use of video technology to football.

“As said by the FIFA President, VAR is not changing football, it is cleaning football, and this was our overriding aim when we started the VAR project together with The IFAB. The extensive preparation, both before and during the tournament, coordinated and guided by the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina and FIFA’s Director of Refereeing, Massimo Busacca, has produced outstanding results and I am proud to have been part of this team.”

The implementation of VAR represented a huge talking point during the World Cup, generating fantastic debate about football and its rules.

“It is great that there has been such widespread discussion, but only fully understanding the Laws of the Game and VAR procedures gives credibility to these discussions," added Boban.

Building on the success of refereeing and the use of VAR at the World Cup, FIFA will continue its efforts to improve and develop overall standards of refereeing and assist all member associations and leagues wishing to implement VAR in their competitions.

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