Women's World Cup: Fifa referee chief Pierluigi Collina dismisses VAR discrimination claims

Collina says referees officiate fairly despite Women's World Cup controversies 

Mark Critchley
Wednesday 26 June 2019 18:34 BST
Women’s World Cup in numbers

Pierluigi Collina has dismissed the suggestion that VAR has favoured European teams at the Women’s World Cup, insisting that all Fifa referees officiate fairly.

This World Cup’s quarter-finals will be contested between seven European teams and the United States, all while the debate rages over the use of VAR and newly-introduced rule changes.

The biggest refereeing controversy of the tournament so far came on Sunday, with Cameroon’s angry protests against the officiating in their defeat to England.

Despite the decisions in that game being correct, reports emerged that some Cameroon players felt they were the victims of racism. Head coach Alain Djeumfa played down those suggestions.

At a Fifa briefing on refereeing and VAR in Paris on Wednesday, Collina was asked whether it was “circumstantial” that African, Asian and South American teams had been “victims” of VAR.

“Concerning complaints coming from continents or other continents: honestly, for us there are six continents,” said the chairman of Fifa’s referees committee.

“All the teams coming from the six continents are important for us, deserving our maximum attention. And then everyone is free to complain if they wish.

“What is important is to complain based on facts. If there are no facts, I have nothing to say.”

However, the Italian refused to be drawn on reports that referee Liang Qin ignored VAR advice on two late decisions in order to prevent further angering the Cameroon players.

“This has nothing to do with the percentage, with accuracy,” he said, referring back to Fifa’s statistics that 98.18 per cent of VAR calls at the World Cup to date have been correct.

“This is what was used in the decision making process so this belongs to the referee to our analysis with the referees and this is not part of press conference matters.”

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