The Portuguese League tested the Video Assistant Referee for the first time on the Final Four of the Portuguese League Cup and wTVision (together with Medialuso and Mediaburst – two other Mediapro companies) is the partner behind the implementation and operation of this innovative technology, after a tripartite agreement between FIFA, IFAB (International Football Association Board) and Liga Portugal The invitation from the Portuguese League for wTVision to take part in the launch of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in Portugal follows a very successful collaboration between the two parties that have been working together on the technologic development of the professional football in Portugal.
To get to this stage, in which the system is tested offline, meaning that there is no communication between the VAR and the main referee but everything is tested in a real match, wTVision (through its parent company Mediapro) had to fulfill all the FIFA requirements, namely participate in the workshops organized by the body that rules world football, and train highly specialized professionals. The process also included the training of the VARs on the technology side of the operation, to make sure everything was ready for the first semi-final of the League Cup, played on January 25, between Vitória FC and SC Braga.
The VAR is assisted by an AVAR (Assistant Video Assistant Referee), both referees in activity or retired, that have the essential support of one or two Replay Operators, wTVision professionals with a vast experience in sports operations and in charge of selecting the cameras, angles and duration of the replays used by the VAR to review the critical moments of the match.
The League Cup final played on January 29, between SC Braga and Moreirense FC was, therefore, one more step of Mediapro towards the FIFA certification for the official use of this technology that might revolutionize football. Online tests, in which the main referee can require the assistance of the VAR, will follow in friendly matches and wTVision will keep its commitment to assure the highest quality and remain in the forefront of sports technology.