Definition of VAR

What is the meaning of VAR when it comes to the sport of soccer?

VAR is an abbreviation for Video Assistant Referee. It is a referee who reviews decisions by the main referee with the use of video technology. The two communicate via audio and the main referee can be seen wearing an earpiece by which he receives and sends the signal.

The VAR was introduced to help match referees, who can, from time to time, be under a lot of pressure. The match referee still has the final say in all matters, but VAR is there to offer an opinion. Especially at times when there is a clear error in match-changing situations.

The match referee can call up the Video Assistant Referee anytime for help and does so by making a rectangular outline with his/her index fingers. If they choose to do so, the main referees can review the footage themselves on a pitch-side monitor before making the final decision.

The meaning of VAR - Video Assistant Referee - in the game of soccer / football.  Kings Sports Dictionary entry.

The situations on the pitch that are reviewed by the VARs are goals, penalties, red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

The football governing body, FIFA, approved the use of VAR technology for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. VARs have been used in the German Bundesliga in the 2017/18 season and have revolutionized the way games are officiated there.

Even though the technology is deemed as 'game changing' by FIFA, there is a significant amount of criticism for the confusion situations using VARs can create on the pitch. A lot of times fans are left out in the cold for minutes wondering what is going on.

The English Premier League recently voted to defer implementation of video assistant referee technology until at least 2019/20 season.