MOSCOW, Russia - FIFA referees committee chairman, Pierluigi Collina, said on Friday he was "pleased" with the impact of the video assistant referee (VAR) system during the group stage of the World Cup.
After experiments in different FIFA tournaments, Serie A in Italy and the German Bundesliga this season, VAR has made its World Cup debut in Russia. "We are pleased. We are not surprised things went pretty well so far generally speaking," said Collina, who refereed the 2002 World Cup final between Brazil and Germany.
The Italian revealed that VAR crews conducted checks on 335 incidents across the 48 group-stage matches, an average of almost seven per game. VAR can be used in four scenarios -- after a goal has been scored, for penalty decisions, red card decisions or for a case of mistaken identity of a player who has been booked or sent off.
Collina said with the help of technology, officials had achieved a 99.3 percent rate of correct decisions in Russia, compared with an accuracy rate of 95 percent for initial decisions without VAR intervention.
"VAR doesn't mean perfection," he said. "There could still be some wrong interpretation or even mistakes, so it's a not a perfection that can be reached having implemented VAR. During a competition it's not possible that everything goes 100 percent perfectly," Collina added. "Some things have to be fine-tuned based on what has occurred in the first matches and this is our task."