Saturday 18 May 2024, 15:00

What is Football Video Support?

Football Video Support (VS) is the answer to several requests that FIFA has received from those member associations that cannot implement the video-assistant-referee (VAR) system because their human and financial resources are limited and very few cameras are in use in their competitions. Trialling VS is in line with FIFA’s commitment to exploring both existing and emerging technologies to positively impact the game, especially in order to help referees to make correct decisions, while ensuring that their potential use is cost-effective, beneficial and practical across the global football community. It also follows on from the interest shown by The IFAB’s advisory panels and the decision taken at The IFAB’s Annual General Meeting in March 2023 to approve the testing of a new approach to the use of replay technology to support referees during matches.


  1. The VS system is used only in the event of a possible clear and obvious error or serious missed incident in relation to the following scenarios: a. Goal/no goal b. Penalty/no penalty c. Direct red cards (not second cautions) d. Mistaken identity (when the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player of the offending team)

  2. VS can be used only once the referee has taken a decision (with waving play on being considered a decision) and a team has made a subsequent request for a review.

  3. Only the team’s head coach (or, in their absence, the senior team official present in the technical area) can make a review request, which must be made immediately after the incident, by twirling their finger in the air and giving a review request card to the fourth official. However, each player is entitled to ask their head coach to make a review request.

  4. The fourth official will inform the referee of the review request and, if play has stopped (and not restarted) since the incident, the referee will go to the referee review area (RRA) to review the replay footage. If play has continued since the incident, the referee will stop play when the ball is in a neutral zone and go to the RRA to review the replay footage.

  5. During the review, the referee will be assisted by a review operator, who will show replay footage on the monitor (e.g. different camera angles, split screen, different replay speeds, etc.).

  6. The original decision taken by the referee will not be changed unless the video replay footage shows clear evidence that the decision was a clear and obvious error or that there has been a serious missed incident. As the VS system involves a small number of cameras, the replay footage will often be inconclusive and thus the original decision may not be changed.

  7. The review request must be made immediately to: • conform to the Laws of the Game requirement that a decision cannot be changed once play has restarted after a stoppage; and • prevent unnecessary delays to the game while the team’s head coach (or, in their absence, the senior team official present in the technical area) considers whether to make a review request.

  8. After a goal has been scored, the fourth official will check the footage on the monitor and inform the referee if a clear and obvious offence was committed by the attacking team. Unless the decision is factual, the referee will then review the incident and make the final decision.


During the trial phase, it is expected that each team will be able to make two requests per match. If the review by the referee results in the original decision being changed, the team retains (does not lose) that review request.

IS VS REPLACING THE VAR SYSTEM? No. VS is fundamentally different to the VAR system because, as there are no video match officials and therefore all qualifying decisions/incidents are not automatically checked, the decision to request a review is the responsibility of the team’s head coach (or, in their absence, of the senior team official present in the technical area). FIFA has no intention whatsoever of replacing the VAR system. On the contrary, FIFA is committed to supporting the implementation of the VAR system, whenever possible. It has proven to be a very successful system, as to date, over 200 individual competitions – spanning 65 member associations across five confederations – have benefited from the implementation of VAR solutions that assist match officials in officiating the game. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE TECHNOLOGY MALFUNCTIONS? If the technology malfunctions, the match must be played or continue without the VS system, and the head coach and captain of each team must be informed immediately. WHAT ARE FIFA’S PLANS IN RELATION TO VS TRIALS? FIFA has received requests from a number of member associations to find a more affordable system to support referees in their decision-making. Taking into account the interest expressed by member associations in trialling VS, as an initial step, FIFA trialed VS at the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup™ 2024 (please see: Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup 2024™ to showcase top football talent on 8 and 9 May) The purpose of the trial was to gather a first set of experiences with a view to fine-tuning processes and the VS protocol. As part of the trial, various camera set-ups were tested to evaluate their impact on the VS system. The Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup was an ideal test environment, as top youth teams from across the world participated and delivered excellent quality under competitive circumstances. HOW MANY TV CAMERAS MAY BE USED? In principle, the VS system may be used in competitions covered by camera set-ups with between one and four cameras, whether human-operated or automated. The trial at the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup 2024™ had two different camera set-ups:

  1. Pitch 1: three cameras, all human-operated (Camera 1, 16L, 16R)

    Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup 2024™ camera set-up

  2. Pitch 2: seven cameras, all automated (Camera 1, 16L, 16R, HBR, HBR R, HBL and HBL R).

    Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup 2024™ camera set-up

WHAT WILL THE NEXT STEPS BE FOLLOWING THE TRIAL? FIFA is assessing the outcome of the trial with the relevant stakeholders in order to decide on the next steps, including potential additional trials by FIFA and other governing bodies. IS THERE A TIMELINE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF FOOTBALL VS AT THE TOP OF THE GAME? There is no specific timeline and no decision has been made. FIFA will consider this matter in coordination with all relevant stakeholders and with a focus on the best interests of football.

Football Technology & Innovation