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Bridget explains... VAR!


Heya BridgeKids,

It's the new year, which means it's about time for a new BridgeKids feature!

And what better a focus than the new technology in English football: VAR! Especially as it was used to give Leicester City a goal on Tuesday in a first for English football!

You've probably heard the term recently, but what does VAR stand for? And, more importantly, what does it mean?

Well, I thought I would help in this new feature for BridgeKids, where I explain some of the more confusing bits about of football.

What does VAR stand for?

VAR stands for Video Assistant Referee (not Very Angry Referee).

What is a Video Assistant Referee?

During a football match, the Video Assistant Referee has live access to all the cameras and goal-line technology following the action, and can help the match referee make difficult decisions.

How does the Video Assistant Referee talk to the referee?

The VAR can talk to the ref through his earphone and microphone. The referee can't ask the VAR for help, the VAR can only get involved if the referee has missed something.

What can the Video Assistant Referee make calls on?

The VAR is only allowed to help the referee with a number of decisions, but is allowed to contact the referee without being asked to first. The VAR can help the referee:

- Award goals
- Make penalty decisions
- With straight red cards (but not second yellow cards)
- Avoid mixing up one player with another

Where does the Video Assistant Referee sit?

The VAR doesn't actually sit in the stadium! Instead, he or she sits in the special Premier League’s Match Centre near Heathrow Airport!

What is the Premier League’s Match Centre?

It's a special room with all the live feeds to Premier League matches during matchday, so that a team of experts can follow all the action! This is where the Premier League decides who scored dubious goals!

When has VAR been used?

VAR was tried out in a friendly between England and Germany in November, but the first time it was used for a competitive match in English Football was the FA Cup match between Brighton and Crystal Palace.

It was then used in Chelsea's League Cup semi-final against Arsenal. However, only Premier League teams have the technology at their grounds to use it at the moment, so it can't be used at English Football League grounds.

Will VAR come to the Premier League soon?

There isn't a plan to bring VAR to the Premier League, but if it works in cup competitions it could be on the way soon!

Hopefully, that's answered the questions you might have around VAR!

Next week, I'm going to be talking all about the Transfer Window, so keep your eyes on BridgeKids!