Ready to criticize the ‘Norwegian VAR model’

Ready to criticize the ‘Norwegian VAR model’
VAR room: Here, the Norwegian VAR referees will catch the referee’s mistakes.

From this room in Oslo, VAR referees must report obvious refereeing errors. But Eliteserien’s VAR remains Not Just as you know it from the FIFA World Cup or English Premier League.


That was it video assistant referees, It will be introduced in the Eliteserien from the 2023 season. This means that the on-field refereeing team is assisted by the VAR referees who are based at Holbergs plass in Oslo.

On Saturday, VG was allowed into the “sacred” VAR room.

VAR referees have access to television images and can assist the referee when there has been a ‘clear and obvious foul’ or when someone misses an important situation related to:

  • Scoring/No Scoring
  • punish / not punish
  • Direct red card
  • wrong identity

– When we start, we are ready for discussions about “Why is the Norwegian model like this?” , says VAR project manager Knut Kristvang for VG.

He is sure that things will have to be adjusted along the way.

– It cannot be said that what we do at the beginning of the series on April 10th will be exactly the same as we will do in November. This is unlikely to happen. VAR will evolve and we will have to learn and adapt along the way as well.

What are you most excited about or most afraid of?

– That everything from the images, camera angles, communication and the rest of the technical aspects of the VAR works, so that VAR is presented in a good way to the spectators and the public whether on TV or in the stadium. But we have good people and partners working on this, well prepared.

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– For you, it’s probably more about referees, says Christvang and turns to Thierry Hauge.

Huge is the chief referee in the Norwegian Football Association.

– The most important thing in all the leagues that have introduced VAR technology is the time it takes, that is, how long it takes from stop to start. This is where we are pretty sure there will also be critical opinions in Norway which takes a long time, Hauge describes.

– But we just have to get started. We have to know who is the best in the VAR room and who is the best on the pitch. He says we must have the right people in the right positions.

Screens: A number of stations with multiple screens have been set up in the Norwegian VAR room.

Last year, 49 referees passed the first two levels of VAR education (theoretical training and offline training). Over the next four weekends, the referees will practice VAR in practice. 24 matches are played in Sarpsborg, while the VAR referees are based in Oslo.

The Norwegian VAR release isn’t as “high-tech” as the one you’re used to in the Champions League, Premier League or World Cup.

  • There will be no semi-automatic offside technology, as seen in the FIFA World Cup.
  • There will be no goal-line technology, as we have seen in the Premier League and Champions League.
  • In an Elite Series match, there will be from 5-6 cams and up to around 12, depending on the level of output that applies to the singles match.
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OSLO: The VAR room is located in Holbergs plass in Oslo and will monitor matches from north to south in the country.

– The semi-automatic offside technology that was used during the World Cup takes VAR to a new level, but it also has a much higher cost, so it’s not for us now, says Christvang.

Referees are obviously another tool for identifying offsides in difficult situations. Visually, this is also more interpretive for those who sit and watch TV, he says of the new technology compared to the Norwegian model where virtual offside lines are used.

– But we hope that at some point this can also be introduced in Norwegian football, and the development happens quickly.

Kristvang says work is underway on what TV2 will show its viewers, and what to do can Shown with the help of available cameras.

People would like to look like him. Would one experience VAR differently in a stadium with five cameras versus one with two-digit cameras?

– I noticed a difference in TV production and TV experience, but for VAR the difference in the number of cameras will not be very important as long as the cameras used to evaluate VAR are almost the same regardless of the match. VAR can also be implemented at the lowest production level.


Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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