Mixed reaction on social media as VAR set for use at the World Cup

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Video Assistant Referees look set to be used at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

After recent scrutiny for its use in the FA Cup, VAR was unanimously approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) at their annual general meeting in Zurich.

The decision makes it almost certain the Fifa council will sanction VAR’s use at Russia 2018 later this month.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino called the step “very important news” and said VAR is “good for football” and “brings more fairness” to the game, but the reaction from elsewhere has been mixed.

Some, professional footballers included, were decidedly against the decision, suggesting it could “ruin” the competition and “kills” the game of football.

VAR trials in England have drawn particular criticism for the length of time decisions take to make and the fact crowds are no kept informed of what is going on.

Perhaps with this in mind, some on Twitter agreed with Infantino’s suggestion it would bring more fairness to the game, but said that it “might not be the most enjoyable” to watch.

On the other hand, some couldn’t understand complaints about the decision and preferred the idea of matches with fewer refereeing mistakes.

VAR has been experimented in roughly 1,000 matches, and according to FIFA the level of accuracy of decisions was 99 per cent.

Despite this, some suggested the decision was not hinged upon the testing process VAR has been through, but instead had been made some time ago.

By contrast, football commentator Derek Rae cautioned against people basing their views on the new technology on events in the UK.

Finally, perhaps the most unanimous agreement about VAR was that discussion about it isn’t going away.

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