FIFA established a Working Group for Innovation Excellence comprising 14 competition organisers experienced in using video assistant referee (VAR) technology, with the aim of coordinating the next developments of the system.
FIFA’s intention to make VAR technology accessible to all member associations (MAs) was advanced by recommendations from the working group on the next steps to implement VAR “light”, with the concept being presented to FIFA and The IFAB in December 2020.
Enhanced VAR, including semi-automated offside technology, was tested live at the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020™. FIFA has also opened dialogue with different technology providers on new solutions for an improved visualisation of close offside incidents.
With management of the Implementation Assistance and Approval Programme (IAAP) transferred from The IFAB to FIFA, existing IAAP requirements have been adapted to improve the effectiveness of VAR implementation. In addition, FIFA is developing VAR documents and processes to share knowledge, especially to support competition organisers who are implementing VAR for the first time.
In 2020, 38 VAR education online courses took place in which MAs were trained and supported on the education of video and match officials.
On the field, FIFA appointed female match officials to referee matches in a senior men’s tournament for the first time, as Edina Alves Batista, Neuza Back and Mariana de Almeida officiated at the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020.