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First VAR technology used in official FIFA match

History made as first Video Assistant Referee awards penalty in CWC semis

December 15, 2016 By Andrew Amoth Wandola
There was the goal line technology a few years back, now there is the Video Assistant Referee technology.

Wednesday’s Club World Cup semi-final clash between Atletico Nacional and Kashima Antlers in Japan went down the books of history as the first official FIFA match to witness a penalty awarded through the Video Assistant Referee. The particular incident happened 30 minutes into the first half when Kashima player Daigo Nishi was brought inside the opponent’s box by Atletico defender Orlando Berrio.

Viktor Kassai, the center referee, missed the incident and was forced to dash to the touchline to watch the replay. He took around 30 seconds to review the footage and make the decision to award the complainant the penalty. Speaking after the match, FIFA’s Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca said:

"This is the first-ever live trial with Video Assistant Referees at a FIFA competition, so this is something that is new for everyone -- especially to see the referee run to the video replay area at the side of the field." 

He added:

"In the incident tonight, the communication between the referee and the video assistant referee was clear, the technology worked well, and ultimately the final decision was taken by the referee, which will always be the case since the VARs are only there to support."

Here's when VAR technology is appliedVAR technology

The video referee technology was invented to avoid questionable calls for referees, especially in match-changing decisions. Some crucial decisions such as penalties are often challenged especially when the referee fails to witness the particular moment when the incident occurred. To avoid such questionable calls, VAR technology has been introduced and is expected to be used in future FIFA tournaments.

WATCH: How VAR works

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