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Referees will explain VAR-influenced in-game decisions to stadium crowds and television audiences at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, sources have told ESPN.

IFAB announced a 12-month trial in international tournaments back in January having followed up on recommendations made in October 2022. After successful trials at the FIFA Club World Cup and men’s Under-20 World Cup, decisions made by officials at this summer’s tournament will be broadcast over the stadium’s loud speaker system.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

It is a method of engagement already seen in NFL and at this summer’s tournament, spectators and those watching on TV will get an explanation of key decisions influenced by VAR via a microphone on the referee.

This will include incidents where VAR intervenes to overturn decisions, whether it be citing a potential red card, penalty or ruling a goal out for offside or foul play.

It is the first time this method will be adopted by a tier one FIFA tournament but sources have told ESPN its aim is to improve transparency on key decisions made during the competition.

An example could be when VAR intervenes to alert the referee to potential foul play. If the referee decides to watch the incident back on the pitchside monitor, if the referee decides to take action, they will then explain the reason to the crowd.

Speaking back in February, Pierluigi Collina, chairman of FIFA’s referee committee, said: “We decided to have this trial because we received some requests to make the decision taken by the referee after a VAR intervention more understandable for all the football stakeholders, namely the spectators at the stadium, or in front of the television”.

He added: “I have to say that there are other experiences in other sports, namely the NFL in American football, who have been doing this for quite a long time. It seems that the referees are pretty comfortable with this.”

Collina said at the time FIFA was considering using this method of communication at the Women’s World Cup but it was dependent on the success of trials at other tournaments. But the success at both the Club World Cup and men’s Under-20 World Cup will see it used in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

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Women’s World Cup to introduce NFL-style VAR calls – sources