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Federation Internationale de Football Association approves video assistant referees for World Cup 2018

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Ian Austin the Labour MP for Dudley North

The use of video assistant referees (VAR) at this summer's World Cup has been rubber-stamped by the Fifa Council.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has been a vocal advocate of VAR for some time, regularly voicing his support for the developing use of the technology and consistent in his opinion that the 2018 World Cup should be its grand premiere.

VAR will be used in the most important football competition in the world for the first time in the 2018 World Cup, held in Russian Federation from June 14 to July 15.

A video assistant referee is an official who is based off-site and reviews decisions made by the main referee with the aid of video technology, while the pair communicate via a headset.

Infantino said VAR had been shown to reduce the number of refereeing mistakes in matches where it has been used and would help football become "a fairer and more transparent sport".

The VAR system has been trialled worldwide, but its use in England during FA Cup games has been met with great cynicism.

VAR has not been universally well greeted, with UEFA yet to be convinced.

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"Nobody knows exactly how VAR will work".

Some reports suggest that the Premier League is not expected to introduce the technology next season, while Uefa has stated that it will not be used in the 2018-19 Champions League.

"We need to live with the times", Infantino said as he chaired a Fifa Council meeting in Colombia. "We will see at the World Cup".

"For me, it might be a good project but we shouldn't rush it", he added.

It's a drawback which has left many fans and purists frustrated that the flow of a game is interrupted. "If we lose a minute to correct mistakes, I think we have done something good", said Infantino earlier this week on a visit to Lima.

Moulay Hafid Elalamy also explained that organizing the World Cup is in line with Morocco's economic and social development strategy.

Other cities not bidding on the world Cup are Chicago, Minneapolis and Vancouver, while cities like Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City and Montreal are still in the mix.

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