Video referees under fire after Confederations Cup “shambles”

Gonzalo Jara's challenge on Timo Werner

THE use of video assistant referees (VAR) has been criticised following Germany’s 1-0 victory over Chile in the Confederations Cup final.

Chile defender Gonzalo Jara appeared to elbow Germany’s Timo Werner during the game, but got only a yellow card even after the VAR system was used.

Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon said during an ITV interview the system was a “shambles.”

“If you look at sports that use VAR – we’re (football) the laughing stock,” he said.

Referees can decide whether they want help from the VAR, although other officials can suggest he uses the technology. From there he can choose whether to trust the VAR’s decision or view the footage himself on a screen at the side of the pitch.

Milorad Mazic used a pitch side screen to watch a replay of Jara’s challenge, and decided it was worth a booking not a sending off.

The system was used 35 times in the group stages with six “game-changing decisions” according to FIFA’s head referee Massimo Busacca.

One of these decisions involved Pepe’s goal for Portugal against Mexico, which was ruled out correctly for offside after consulting VAR.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the system has been a “great success”, but work was needed on “the details such as the speed of decisions.”

“It will always be the referee who decides and there will always be discussions, but big mistakes will be corrected and that is a great achievement after it was asked for so many years” he added.

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