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VARs make debut but Fifa warn of teething problems

By Robert Jones

Video Assistant Referees (VARs) will be making their debut at the World Cup in Russia this month but the technology will not be perfect, Fifa's director of refereeing Massimo Busacca warned yesterday.

Although it has been used in domestic competitions across Europe in the past year - including in top divisions of the German and Italian leagues and the FA Cup - concerns have been raised about the system's readiness for the World Cup.

Busacca said Fifa had full confidence in the VAR technology but that it might not provide the degree of clarity some may be craving.

"If we say now yes to (having VAR in) this World Cup, it's because we think we are ready," he said. "But don't think that it will be perfect. We are looking to have an incredible uniformity and consistency, but don't think that technology solves the problem 100%.

"In front of a video, we will always have a human person who is making an interpretation. It's not goal-line technology with a vibration. No, it's an interpretation. It can be yes, it can be no.

"But I'm sure and convinced that the scandals that we remember from the past we will not see any more."

Pierluigi Collina, chairman of Fifa's referees committee, knows the pressure of officiating at the highest level, having taken charge of the 2002 final between Brazil and Germany.

However, he believes that having the ability to refer to VAR would alleviate the stress on officials in Russia.

"Psychological issues for a referee are very important," Collina said.

"It's the main reason why the referee makes the so-called home field review. Because it would be very, very difficult for someone to change the decision on the field of play without knowing what happened. His self-confidence for the rest of the game could be heavily affected."

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