IFAB “Block” live VAR Conversations

Photo Credit: Sky Sports


Howard Webb and his team have been heavily criticised for not allowing VAR conversations from being broadcast live to spectators in the stadium as well as live on TV and Radio.

IFAB has been piloting changes in the VAR process for some time by permitting referees to announce their decisions publicly in the stadium and on TV as seen in the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup.

In our podcast “The Ref Pod” https://youtube.com/@TheRefPod?si=VW-AzfBn84wyZBT6 Andy Ambler exclusively revealed that Refs will publicly announce their concluded decisions over the PA system in the stadium and on TV during FIFA Women’s World Cup.

RSUK believe that The FA and PGMOL are comfortable with taking this a step further by allowing VAR conversations to be broadcast live in the stadium and on TV and Radio.

Howard Webb and his team have recently published VAR conversations on Sky Sports that has been very well received by the Football community and there are plans to extend these disclosures regularly.

This announcement by IFAB, will be a blow to all in football, including Ref Support UK, who believe that allowing the VAR conversations to be broadcast live in the Stadium and on TV will bring a level of transparency that has never been seen before.

However, IFAB secretary and chief executive Lukas Brud has stated that he is not in favour of developing the process further and broadcasting the VAR conversations live in the stadium and on TV and Radio.

In an interview on BBC Radio 5 live, that effectively blocks any positive plans by the PGMOL to broadcast the VAR live, Lukas Brud stated :

“I categorically say no, they shouldn’t. I was allowed to observe and see communication between match officials during a review and it’s quite a chaotic situation, not in a negative sense but there are many people talking at the same time and I think it would be counterproductive for anyone to listen to all those voices talking to each other.” He continued, “Then you have the VAR and the assistant VAR, the replay operators, the referee and maybe even the assistant referees and fourth official so all of a sudden, it becomes quite a chaotic experience. We have given the green light to test the announcement of decisions to bring a little more transparency to decision making, but we are not prepared, at this point, to open up communication live to the audience. We should not immediately start questioning the entire setup because in one of thousands of matches this situation has occurred.

Certainly we are going to improve if need be certain areas of VAR. Whether we need to solve an issue where humans made an error, let’s see.

Hopefully, IFAB will soon see sense and revisit their decision and change the VAR process to reflect the needs of the modern game, the modern spectator and TV Viewer. This will also give match officials the opportunity to display a level of unrivalled transparency.

Credit logo to IFAB.

Some content acknowledgement to BBC and ESPN.


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