Wed. Dec 7th, 2022
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2022 World Cup: What are the VAR rules?

The World Cup Qatar 2022 regulation guide allows for video assistance referees (VARs) to be used for match-changing decisions or incidents, so fans should expect to see these replay officials interject when most necessary.

In order to know how and when a VAR steps in, it’s necessary to look at The International Football Association Board (IFAB) “Laws of the Game,” which establishes the protocols used by the World Cup and other soccer competitions.

According to the laws, the VAR is a match official with independent access to match footage who can assist the match referee in the event of a clear and obvious error or serious missed incident in relation to:

goal/no goals decisions
penalty kick/no penalty kick
direct red cards (not second yellow card/caution)
instances of mistaken identity (a referee cautions or sends off the wrong player)

VAR reviews can only be initiated by a game referee, though the VAR and other match officials can recommend a review to the referee. And a VAR can’t be used before the referee makes a call on the field first.

Everything in regards to the play being reviewed by a VAR will be checked, eliminating the need for coaches or players to request a review. And there is no time limit on a VAR review.


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