Assistant refs to keep flag down for tight offside calls
World Cup assistant referees have been told to keep their flag down for tight offside calls to enable VAR to make the correct decision, says Fifa referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina.
Russia 2018 will be the first World Cup to use the video assistant referee system.
"If you see some assistant referee not raising the flag it's not because he's making mistakes," said Collina.
"It's because he's respected the instruction to keep the flag down."
Italian former referee Collina was speaking at the World Cup referees media briefing on Tuesday.
"They were told to keep the flag down when there is a tight offside incident and there could be a very promising attack or a goal-scoring opportunity because if the assistant referee raises the flag then everything is finished," he said.
"If the assistant referee keeps the flag down and the play goes on and maybe a goal comes at the end, there is a chance to review the goal using the technology." Fifa president Gianni Infantino confirmed in March that VAR would be used in Russia, having been used in Germany and Italy and trialled in in some domestic English cup games last season.
The VAR - a current or former top referee - is in place to check decisions on four sorts of incidents:
Goals, including 'missed' attacking offences in the build-up Penalties awarded and not awarded, including 'missed' attacking offences in the build-up Direct red cards Cases of mistaken identity where the wrong player is shown a red or yellow card The referee can accept the information relayed through his earpiece by the VAR team, an option usually reserved for objective calls of fact, such as if a player is offside.
For more subjective decisions such as red cards and penalty-area fouls, he can review the footage on a pitchside television monitor before deciding whether to change his initial call.
Replays of incidents reviewed by the VAR will be shown on big screens during the World Cup and the crowd will also be told when a decision is being reviewed and why a decision has been reached.
However, the replays will not be shown inside the ground while the referee is making a decision, only afterwards, so the official is not influenced by the crowd. www.bbc.co.uk
British law enforcement authorities have blocked over 1,200 local football hooligans from entering Russia for the duration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off on Thursday night in Moscow, the UK Home Office said in a statement on Wednesday.
"More than 1,200 troublemakers with a history of football-related disorder have been blocked from going to the World Cup after a joint operation by police and the Home Office," the statement said.
"The Football Banning Orders Authority (FBOA) - part of the Home Office - ordered 1,312 banned individuals who hold a passport to surrender it to police on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 June," according to the statement. "The latest figures released today (Wednesday 13 June) show that forces in England and Wales have accounted for 1,254 passports… Police will hold the passports until the World Cup final on 15 July."
The statement from the Home Office quoted Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd as commenting on the security measures that "The World Cup is a festival of football and is no place for violence or disorder."
"The UK’s system of football banning orders is unique and means that people intent on causing trouble in Russia will instead be staying at home," Hurd said. "I’m grateful to police forces for taking the necessary enforcement action to ensure that these thugs won’t be able to ruin the tournament for real fans."
Last week, First Deputy Chief of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Department for Security of Large International and Mass Sports Events Police Major-General Anton Gusev said that six UK law-enforcement officers will be involved in measures to provide security at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Britain’s Daily Star came up with a report late last month saying that England’s football fans were gearing up for something in Russia during the World Cup and that it was "going to be like World War Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven." The Daily Star’s article was titled "England hooligan firms’ hardcore uniting to 'wipe the floor' with Russian Ultras."
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Thursday with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.
FIFA says video reviews are "close to perfection" at the first World Cup to use the system, claiming 99.3 percent of "match-changing" plays were called correctly.
The system has had a major impact, with seven penalties awarded using the video assistant referee (VAR) system. Two goals were given after being initially ruled offside, including one by South Korea that helped to eliminate world champion Germany.
FIFA's referee committee head Pierluigi Collina claimed on Friday that 99.3 percent of "match-changing" decisions were called correctly at the World Cup -- "very, very close to perfection" -- based on assessments by him and other senior ex-referees. Without VAR, the figure would be 95 percent, Collina said.
That missing 0.7 percent in Collina's statistic is still bitterly contentious. Serbia's coach suggested a referee should be sent to a war-crimes tribunal when his team didn't get a penalty after two Swiss defenders appeared to hold Aleksandar Mitrovic in the penalty area, while English media complained about Tunisian defenders grappling with striker Harry Kane.
Collina didn't address those plays directly, but suggested they prompted a warning to referees to be stricter about holding in the penalty area.
"I think you might have appreciated that at a certain point of the group phase there were some incidents which suddenly disappeared," he said. "We had some holdings and they almost disappeared, but if they continued they were punished with the corresponding decision."
That's an example of the refereeing system being "fine-tuned," Collina said.
VAR means players and viewers expect more from referees. FIFA's head of refereeing Massimo Busacca expressed frustration about the interest in errors.
"Today you are asking to be God, perfect," he said. "Who is perfect in this life?"