The debate surrounding the introduction of VAR into football has been long and contentious, with many arguing that it has had a detrimental impact on the game. In this article, we will look at this question through football statistics and analysis to better understand the truth behind the claims.

Football has been affected by the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) into the game, both on and off the pitch. Since its introduction in 2018, VAR has dramatically impacted how fans, players, and coaches view the game.

Nowadays, spectators want to know more details and clear things about every kind of sports prediction. That’s why soccer game websites like started to provide detailed football predictions and statistics about different European leagues and even the APL tables.

Anyway, let’s move to the discussion of WAR's impact on deep analysis of different situations in the football game.

A Statistical Analysis of VAR’s Impact: 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cups

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has been deployed in women's football to improve referees' decision-making. A study by the Frontiers analyzed the effect of the VAR.

This study aimed to determine how the VAR impacts refereeing decisions during FIFA Women's World Cup matches. The sample comprises all 52 games from both the 2015 competition, which took place before VAR was implemented, and the 2019 competition, which took place after VAR was implemented.

Data on 10 variables, including playing time in the first and second halves, total playing time, penalties, offsides, fouls, goals, corner kicks, yellow cards, and red cards, were gathered for each game. The match variables were compared before and after VAR implementation using a Mann-Whitney U test, a Bayesian analysis, a generalized linear model, and a non-clinical magnitude-based inference.

The results showed that playing time increased significantly with moderate to large effect sizes after the introduction of VAR in the first half [p 0.001, BF10 = 547.05, Cohen's d = 1.06, 90%CI (0.71, 1.40)], the second half [p 0.001, BF10 = 57.09, Cohen's d = 0.91, 90%CI (0.57, 1.25)], and the entire match [p 0.001, BF10 = 1,120.39.

The main conclusions from this study were that playing time increased slightly, although not excessively, during the first half, second half, and the entire game. These results suggest that elite women's football matches have not been adversely affected by the implementation of VAR.

However, further research is required to confirm the efficacy and determine the usefulness of VAR in football. Professionals can benefit from this type of study's practical applications by knowing how VAR affects top women's football.

Pros and Cons of VAR on football

VAR has been a game-changer in football, offering a new level of precision and accuracy to referees' decision-making. The technology uses multiple cameras positioned around the pitch to provide video footage that can be reviewed by an official in real-time, allowing for more accurate decisions.

However, this technology has its challenges. Here are some pros and cons of VAR.

Pros of VAR on football

Better decision-making

One of the critical benefits of VAR is that it aids referees in making more informed choices throughout a game. Goals, penalties, offside, and red card decisions can all be reviewed using VAR. Thanks to technology, referees can analyze occurrences from several perspectives, slow down the video, and focus on particular elements. As a result, they can better make judgments that will produce more equitable outcomes for all engaged teams.

Fairness of the game

Fairness is improved because referees may now see fouls and other infractions they might have missed throughout the game, thanks to VAR. This is crucial for high-stakes games because the result can significantly affect a team's season or financial situation.

Make the game less controversial.

VAR technology can aid in reducing controversies and conflicts that occur during games. Because the action is examined from various perspectives and in slow motion when a decision is being reviewed by VAR, there is less space for interpretation or uncertainty. This can lessen the possibility of disputes between players and coaches and fan complaints.

Improve the transparency

Transparency in decision-making is made possible through VAR technology. Referees can review occurrences more than once, which aids in their decision-making. This openness can boost confidence in the officiating procedure and enhance the sport's overall integrity.

Cons of VAR on football

Game disruption

One of the primary arguments against VAR is that it may cause game disruption. The game is delayed while the referee and VAR officials examine the footage after a VAR review of an incident. As it disrupts the game's flow, this may irritate players, coaches, and spectators.

Issues with interpretation

Despite the use of technology, referees still have some discretion. This implies that there can still be inconsistent decision-making even with the help of VAR. For instance, a referee's interpretation of an incident may differ from another's, resulting in disagreements and complaints.

Not available for vast use

VAR is only effective for a limited range of choices. This implies that it could only sometimes be reliable, especially regarding more arbitrary judgments like fouls or handballs. Furthermore, not all teams can access VAR because it cannot be utilized in lower-league games.

Can be costly

VAR technology installation and maintenance can be pricey. This can be a problem for smaller clubs or leagues that need the financial means to invest in the technology, this can be a problem. Additionally, some fans may be burdened by higher ticket prices due to VAR implementation costs being passed through to the general public.


The introduction of VAR has had a significant impact on football. The data presented in this article gives an overview of how VAR has changed the game, from an increase in penalty kicks awarded to a decrease in goals disallowed due to offside.

It is clear that referees have become more confident in their decisions, and the sport benefits as a result. There is room for improvement in VAR implementation and its accuracy.


Zhang, Y., Li, D., Memmert, D., Li, C., & Fu, M. (2022). The effect of the video assistant referee (VAR) on referees' decisions at FIFA Women's World Cups. Frontiers in Psychology, 13.