The first round of the 2018 Russia World Cup tournament has been challenging from one aspect and entertaining from another. The diehard lovers of the sport in different parts of the world are not completely satisfied with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system which brought the referees’ decisions under scrutiny in a most complicated way.
The question is: who has the final say? Is it the field referee or the VAR system which consists of a team of eight persons who are monitoring the various aspects of the match? Secondly, on what basis is a field incident worthy of a second look? Does the system have to make a judgement?
Before we try to answer those questions, we must define the guidelines of each decision which the official referee can make. Outside of the normal rules, which have been in existence for many years, the recent addition of the video system has been put in place in order to assist the referee following his/her primary decisions on infringements which may appear debatable.