USWNT’s Ellis: VAR should be used at Women’s World Cup

AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
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U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis believes that video review should be put to use at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, because “that would be the fair thing” after the system was implemented — to great success — at the men’s tournament earlier this year.

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“Let’s all start a plan, and a movement, to make sure that it is,” Ellis said this week. “Because that would be the fair thing, right?”

“I know there’s training involved with VAR, but guess what? There’s people trained and they just performed in a men’s World Cup,” she noted following a recent friendly against Chile. “So they’re available.”

It wasn’t announced until March of 2018 that VAR would be in place for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, though the turnaround for readiness wasn’t a massive obstacle to overcome as testing and training had long since been taking place.

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Star midfielder Megan Rapinoe echoed her coach’s sentiments, doubling down on a matter of fairness being at play as FIFA must make a decision ahead of next June’s tournament in France:

“They obviously did it for the men’s World Cup, so I think it’s essential to the spirit of the game. If we don’t have it, it’s just utter discrimination.”

If FIFA were to go through all the preparation and scrutiny they endured in order to use VAR for the men’s World Cup, only to turn around and not do the same for the women’s tournament 12 months later, it would send a clear message that they value and respect one over the other. Nothing would confirm that long- and widely held belief in clearer fashion.