Referees to communicate VAR decisions to crowd and TV audience at Club World Cup

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Referees will explain to crowds and TV audiences the reasoning behind VAR decisions during a 12-month trial across FIFA tournaments, starting with February’s Club World Cup.

The Morocco-hosted event will see officials communicate their decisions to audiences for the first time in football.

While conversations with the VAR officials will not be heard by the public, referees are to be provided with a microphone that links them to the in-stadium public address system and broadcasters.

The International football Association Board (IFAB), the sport’s lawmakers, announced the trial on Wednesday following recommendations made by its advisory panels in October.

With the trial set for 12 months from February 1, the initiative could also be implemented for the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand later this year.

But IFAB rejected the chance to begin experimenting with temporary concussion substitutes, confirming “no consensus was reached”.

The measure, IFAB said, will remain “under active review”, though the board “indefinitely extended the trial with permanent concussion substitutions”.

Regarding the existing Laws of the Game, IFAB also moved to confirm recent guidelines published on “deliberate play” in offside situations.

Several high-profile incidents – such as Mohamed Salah’s FA Cup goal against Wolves last week – led to that publication, and IFAB affirmed that “a player who is clearly in an offside position should not become ‘onside’ on all occasions when an opponent moves and touches the ball”.

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