The global football governing body, FIFA on Tuesday announced that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology will make its debut in the U-17 Women’s World Cup, slated to be held in India. The prestigious tournament, which was given the go-ahead by FIFA after lifting the 11-day-long suspension on the All India Football Federation (AIFF), will be held in Bhubaneswar (Kalinga Stadium), Margao (JLN Stadium) and Navi Mumbai (DY Patil Stadium) from October 11-30.
The VAR technology is used by the on-field referee in four game-changing situations: goals and offences leading up to a goal, penalty decisions and offences leading up to a penalty, direct red card incidents, and mistaken identity.
The VAR team constantly checks for clear and obvious errors related to these four match-changing situations throughout a match. The team then communicates with the referee when help is sought but only for clear and obvious mistakes or serious missed incidents.
“The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will give us important and significant insights into the qualities of the match officials who have been appointed. We are very happy that, also for the first time, VAR technology will be used at a FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup,” said FIFA’s Head of Women Refereeing Kari Seitz.
“This event will be another great opportunity to showcase the skills of the appointed VARs and continue the development of our female VARs as part of the Road to Australia/New Zealand 2023 project,” she said in a FIFA statement.
Notably, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India will be the third FIFA women’s tournament to utilise the VAR technology following the U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019. Meanwhile, it will be the second such instance of the VAR technology being used in India after it was used during the quarterfinal stage of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
Match officials also announced
Apart from announcing the use of VAR technology during the tournament, the FIFA Referees Committee also announced match officials for the tournament comprising 14 women referees, 28 women assistant referees, three support referees and 16 video match officials.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will be represented by 14 referees, assistant referees and video match officials from seven member associations. There is no one from India.