video arbitration assistance should be limited to "clear and obvious" errors, says IFAB

Pedro Neto after his goal was denied in the Liverpool-Wolverhampton match on Sunday 29 December.
Pedro Neto after his goal was denied in the Liverpool-Wolverhampton match on Sunday 29 December. Andrew Yates / REUTERS

This is a serious snub for Video Arbitration Assistance (VAR). International Football Association Board (IFAB) secretary general Lukas Brud said the technology should only be used to overturn a referee's decision if it is"Clear and obvious error".

This statement came after controversy over the use of VAR in the British Championship. This weekend, Norwich, Brighton, Sheffield United, Wolverhampton, Brighton and Crystal Palace were denied goals for offside after the intervention of video arbitration, sometimes for a margin as minimal as the reliability of the technology has been questioned. Some coaches regretted that the VAR thus prevailed over an arbitral decision made with the naked eye and at real speed.

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Lukas Brud, secretary general of IFAB, the body responsible for the laws of football, seemed to go in their direction by affirming that the "Clarity and evidence (of actions) still prevails" :

"It is an important principle. You don't have to spend a lot of time finding something marginal. "

"A big mess"

In the Liverpool-Wolverhampton match on Sunday (1-0), the Wolves' equalizing goal was canceled for an offside by one of their players for only a few centimeters after a long interruption in the game. "If you spend several minutes trying to see if there is an offside or not, it means that it is not clear and obvious, and the original decision should prevail", added Lukas Brud.

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For its part, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder was inconsolable after the VAR prevented the validation of a goal by his team – for the fifth time this season – against Manchester City, the double champion of England in title. And even Pep Guardiola, manager of the Citizens, 2-0 winners, admitted that the VAR was "A big mess" adding hope she " (could) do better next season ".

In early December, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin called on the International Board to " clarify " the use of VAR, citing in particular the example of offside and hands.

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