LAST_UPDATEFri, 20 Jul 2018 7pm

Scholes, Fowler Criticized The Use Of VAR System In 2018 Russia World Cup

BENTONG — Former England international Paul Scholes and Robbie Fowler expressed discomfort on the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Manchester United’s legend, Scholes noted that VAR is still a new system whereby both the players and fans could be confused on how it was actually being used.

“Unlike rugby or cricket where possibly you can challenge the decision made by the referee and if you win the challenge, your team can keep the challenge but now you are not allowed to do that.

“Maybe if each team is allowed to have two challenges in every half and you feel like the referee is doing something not right, then it could make it more acceptable,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview at Genting Resort, today.

The 2018 World Cup is the first major international football tournament to use the new video refereeing system VAR.

Four referees in full kit sit in a video operation room in Moscow and who follow the action live from the stadium, plus 33 different cameras and two dedicated offside cameras theoretically give them all the angles they could ever need.

The referee can communicate directly with the VAR team via their radio microphone.

Sharing the same view is Liverpool's legend, Fowler, who described himself as not a big fan of the system.

“Well, football is full of ‘contact’ game and the players cannot run away from doing fouls. If in the penalty box the referee is referring to VAR to decide the results, I don’t think it’s fair.

“When the referee is referring to the video, the VAR will show the ‘slow-mo’ action but the real situation it was not and it’s not fair to judge what actually happened through the video,” he said.

VAR can only be used in four match-changing situations which is to determine goals, penalty decisions, red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

The first game to see a major VAR decision in the 2018 World Cup came with Group C match between France and Australia on 16th June, with France earning a penalty thanks to a video referee referral.