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The use of VAR at the FA Cup has sparked a great deal of controversy

Video assistant referees will be used at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after the body approved the use of the technology for this year’s tournament.

VAR has undergone a trial period in Germany, Italy, English cup games as well as in the Club World Cup in 2016 and 2017 Confederations Cup.

The world governing body’s formal announcement comes after the International Football Association Board (IFAB) “unanimously approved” the introduction of VAR on a permanent basis earlier this month.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino commended the use of VAR at the World Cup, despite its opposition amongst many.

He said: “We need to live with the times.

“We wanted to give the referees tools so they can make better decisions, and in the World Cup some very important decisions are made.”

“It’s not possible that in 2018 everyone in their living room knows a few seconds after the play whether a referee has made a mistake and the referee doesn’t.

“I was sceptical at first, but without trying you cannot know what it’s worth.

“Without VAR, a referee can make one important mistake every three matches. With VAR, the figures we have seen from the trials that have been held show that a big mistake is made once every 19 matches.”

VAR was branded a “disgrace” by Tottenham full-back Danny Rose after their FA Cup fifth round replay win over Rochdale at Wembley in a game which saw the hosts disallowed two goals, denied a penalty and awarded another in the first-half of their 6-1 triumph.

The Premier League is not expected to introduce VAR next season, and UEFA has already said it will not be used in the 2018-19 Champions League.

However, La Liga and Ligue 1 will introduce it from next season, while the Bundesliga will decide on 22 March.


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