English Football Association Considers Broadcasting Live VAR Conversations

by | Oct 12, 2023 | Football

The English Football Association (FA) is considering the possibility of broadcasting live VAR conversations during matches held in the country. Mark Bullingham, the FA’s chief executive and a member of the International Board (Ifab), which governs the rules of football, revealed this possibility.

Bullingham explained, “From a marketing and commercial perspective, we believe that transparency is generally beneficial, and we want fans to have access to the maximum information possible.”

In recent competitions organized by FIFA, a change in VAR usage has been tested in which referees communicate decisions to the audience in the stadium.

A notable error occurred during a Premier League classic at the end of last month when Liverpool had a goal disallowed due to a non-existent offside, owing to a communication breakdown between the VAR booth and the on-field referee.

The organization responsible for referees in English football acknowledged the “clear and obvious error” in that incident. This episode has led to calls for VAR conversations to be broadcast, similar to what happens in other sports like rugby.

Bullingham added, “The issue of live transmission of decisions will continue to be discussed because greater transparency demonstrates how challenging the work of referees is. This has worked in other sports. Therefore, I believe we are heading in the right direction by announcing decisions and explaining why they were made. We will see if this leads to progress.”

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