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VAR audio to go public in Spanish football matches




Starting this week, a groundbreaking change will unfold in Spanish football as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system’s audio becomes public during matches.

This move, initiated during the Supercopa de España, marks a significant step toward transparency in the sport. Fans, clubs, and players had eagerly sought more insight into the referees’ decision-making, and the Technical Committee of Referees has responded.

Luis Medina Cantalejo, the committee’s president, acknowledged the demand for increased transparency.

After discussions with LaLiga, it was agreed to make VAR audio public after matches, a measure that will extend to the second leg of LaLiga, commencing this weekend. Previously, these audio recordings were accessible only during referee training sessions or upon club request, which required a visit to Las Rozas.

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What does this mean for football enthusiasts? After each game, the channel holding broadcast rights can air a program displaying the referee’s view of incidents on the field, along with the discussions held between the on-field referee and their assistants in the Video Operation Room (VOR).

This move aims to offer fans a deeper understanding of the decision-making process behind critical game-changing moments.

Medina Cantalejo explained that viewers will witness the complete review process of incidents captured on the pitchside monitor. From the moment the referee makes a call or misses an important play, like a handball or a foul, to when they refer to the monitor—fans will get an inside look at these occurrences and the discussions that follow between the VOR and the on-field referee.

The ultimate decision, though, will still rest with the referee on the field. Post-match television programs and the RFEF’s social media channels will present these audio insights for the audience. Movistar, in particular, will broadcast these segments after matches where VAR interventions occur.

The president emphasized the committee’s goal of enhanced transparency, granting fans an opportunity to witness the professionalism of referees at work.

He reassured that decisions aren’t whimsical; they are thoroughly evaluated, considering the pace at which conclusions are made, with the on-field referee having the final say. This move is a stride towards more transparency in football officiating, providing fans with unprecedented access to the decision-making process on the field.

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