Referees at the World Cup finals will be able to give red cards for off-the-ball incidents spotted by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), football’s rule-making body the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has said.
VAR will be used for the first time at a World Cup at this summer’s tournament and IFAB confirmed players can receive retrospective red cards during matches in Russia.
The VAR can inform the referee of off-the-ball incidents even after that phase of play has ended. Players can be sent off following review and even at halftime if guilty of violent conduct, biting, spitting or making offensive gestures.
IFAB technical director David Elleray told The Times: “If there is something away from the action that has been missed and it later comes to the attention of the VAR or the assistant VAR, then they can inform the referee and he can send the player off, even if it is later in the match.
IFAB technical director David Elleray confirms competition organisers will be allowed to show VAR incidents on a the big screen (as they are in the trials if they choose to do so). But he rules out a pick-and-mix approach to incidents covered under VAR. It’s all or nothing.
— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) March 3, 2018
“We do not anticipate this happening very often… this would only be for serious red-card offences.”
Following trials in FA Cup and Carabao Cup games this season, VAR has been met by some criticism with Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino saying he fears the technology could kill emotion in the game.
“Football is an emotional game and we are going to kill the emotion. We have the best referees in the world. I prefer them to make a mistake rather than make a mistake with a system that doesn’t help.” said the Argentine.