The system is currently being trialed in several leagues around the world and IFAB’s decision will determine if it will be used at the upcoming World Cup in Russia.
CNN Sport has revisited some of football’s most controversial moments to explore how VAR could have changed the course of history.
Hand of God
All 5 feet 5 inches of him hang in the air with arm outstretched, beating the strapping 6 feet 1 goalkeeper to the ball with his fist.
“A little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God,” is how Argentine great Diego Maradona famously described deceiving England goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
An obvious infraction to the thousands in the stadium and the millions watching on TV around the world. Obvious to everyone except the referee and his officials, who somehow missed the “Hand of God.”
But what’s this? Tunisian referee Ali Bin Nasser has his hand to his ear, listening to information being relayed to him by the Video Assistant Referee who is in a facility just outside the Estadio Azteca.
Then Nasser consults the pitch-side TV screens to review the incident and returns to the pitch to show Maradona a yellow card for deliberate handball.
Without the “Hand of God,” would Maradona have gone on to score the “Goal of the Century” just four minutes later when he weaved his way past a posse of English defenders before beating Shilton with a slick finish?
And would Argentina have beaten England and gone on to win the World Cup? Would Maradona, to this day, still be considered the greatest of all time?
With Arsenal currently languishing in sixth place in the Premier League, staring down the barrel of a second consecutive season without Champions League football, it’s no wonder fans are pining for the good old days like never before.
Arsenal’s ever-vocal following like to remind their fellow Premier League fans of a certain 49-game unbeaten run.
Dubbed the “Invincibles,” Arsenal’s run of games without defeat stretched over three seasons, before eventually being ended by Manchester United in controversial fashion.
But had Mike Riley, the referee for that ill-tempered fixture, had VAR to assist him, how might things have been different?
Instead of awarding Manchester United a penalty for Sol Campbell’s foul on Wayne Rooney, Riley shows the England forward a yellow card for diving.
If Ruud van Nistelrooy hadn’t scored that penalty, redemption for his miss in the “Battle of Old Trafford” a season earlier, to set up the 2-0 win, how much longer would Arsenal’s unbeaten run have gone on?
Could Arsene Wenger’s men have potentially made it two consecutive seasons without tasting defeat, or — rather than suffer a 14-year barren run — gone on to win the Premier League again?
A ‘f***ing disgrace’
“It’s a f**king disgrace,” a furious, wide-eyed Didier Drogba shouted down the camera lens.
His Chelsea team had been denied four seemingly legitimate penalty shouts, as the Blues were beaten in the 2009 Champions League semifinal by Barcelona.
Andres Iniesta’s 90th-minute strike ensured the Catalan side advanced to the final on away goals, where they eventually beat Manchester United to lift the trophy.
Referee Tom Henning Øvrebø subsequently suffered death threats, his career never quite recovered after the debacle and he retired in 2013 aged just 46.
However, with the intervention of VAR, would Øvrebø have been able to confidently award all four, or at least one of penalties?
Had Barcelona not won the Champions League that season, which was Pep Guardiola’s first in charge at the club, would the Spanish coach have gone on to secure such a revered status among world football’s greatest managers?
2002 World Cup
While the whole of South Korea rejoiced at the national team’s run to the 2002 World Cup semifinals, the rest of the world were left scratching their heads and wondering just how they got there.
In the round of 16, Ecuadorian referee Byron Moreno controversially sent off Italy’s Francesco Totti for diving, before disallowing a legitimate goal from Damiano Tommasi, who was quite clearly more than a yard onside.
With the Golden Goal rule in place, Tommasi’s strike should have sent Italy through to play Spain in the quarterfinals, instead it was Ahn Jung-Hwan who scored the decisive goal.
More controversy followed in South Korea’s match against Spain, as Egyptian referee Gamal Al-Ghandour disallowed two perfectly legal Spanish goals and the Koreans advanced to the semifinal 5-3 on penalties.
The 2002 World Cup, described by one English journalist as having “descended into farce,” could have be oh-so different with the help of VAR.
As manager of South Korea, this was the tournament that ensured Dutch coach Guus Hiddink’s was courted by national sides — Australia and Russia — as well as major European clubs like Chelsea.
Had his side not reached the semifinals, would Hiddink’s reputation have ever recovered after two unsuccessful years in Spain with Real Madrid and Real Betis?