MOSCOW – Time lost due to the use of the Video Assistant Referee will be added to stoppage time in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the head of FIFA’s refereeing department announced on Tuesday.
Massimo Busacca made his remarks at a media briefing at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, just two days ahead of the first World Cup to employ VAR, a decision that has polarized opinion in the soccer world.
“Every second lost by using the VAR is going to be added at the end of the match,” Busacca stressed.
Busacca was joined by the president of the UEFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina, as well as referees Sandro Ricci of Brazil and Ravshan Irmatov of Uzbekistan.
FIFA’s referee chief gave assurances that above all, VAR has a preventive task, as any and all unsportsmanlike behavior that is detected will not go unpunished.
Busacca added that VAR is another tool for refereeing, in which the human element also has an influence.
For his part, Collina said the aim of using VAR was about achieving fair results, and confirmed that the public, in stadiums, will be able to see the VAR decisions.
The 2018 World Cup kicks off Thursday with the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and will be refereed by Argentina’s Nestor Pitana.