New to the first division of this year's Brazilian Championship, the use of VAR (video assistant referee) has a much higher cost in Brazil than in at least two European countries.
According to the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation), the price paid every match for the video arbitration system to be operationalized is $ 51,000 on average.
This figure is more than double that of Spain, where VAR is present in all matches of the first and second division. There, the cost per game is $ 23,900.
If the comparison is with the Netherlands, the difference is also huge, 80% more. At Eridivisie, the elite Dutch division, the system costs $ 28,300 per match.
In both cases, euros were converted to reais.
In recent weeks I have contacted the major European leagues to question how much it costs to have the VAR in actionincluding all the expenses it requires such as personnel, equipment, commuting etc .; Finally, the logistics of the structure.
Representatives from Spain (“calculating per match, the cost is about € 5,200,” said Eduardo Sobreviela, communication coordinator of the Spanish Federation) and the Netherlands (“for 324 games, around € 2 million,” said Bram Groot, press officer of the Dutch Federation) were the only ones to reveal the values.
Monitor at the Mallorca (Spain) stadium to be used by the field referee if he deems it appropriate after being alerted of a possible error by the VAR, the assistant video referee (Albert Gea – 25.set.2019 / Reuters)
In France, the question, made at least five times in writing since August 22, was solemnly ignored.
Italian Federation, claiming confidentiality of information, and Premier League, the league responsible for the English Championship (“we do not disclose this data”), stated that they would not make available the costs of the VAR.
The Portuguese League stated, through its legal department, that arbitration issues are “within the purview of the Portuguese Federation”, which “provides all the services of appointment, observation and evaluation of the members of the arbitration teams that work in professional competitions. , including those relating to VAR ”.
Contacted, the Portuguese federation did not comment.
In Germany, the federation pushed the issue to the Football League (DFL), which said it did not disclose the cost of the VAR, but in a contradictory tone showing a lack of harmony with the federation, pushed the issue back to it.
“Maybe they can tell you the cost per game of the assistant video referee and his assistant (assistant video referee). I believe the federation will provide this number if requested, ”wrote Christopher Holschier, head of corporate communications at DFL.
Again the request was made, but no response.
VAR (Video Assistant Referee) Operations Center in Cologne, Germany (Ina Fassbender – 5.ago.2019 / AFP)
With regard to CBF, it is commendable that it is transparent in exposing the cost of the system, unlike in Germany, England, France, Portugal and Italy.
In addition, I asked the Confederation to take a position on the disparity in the amount paid here compared to that paid by the Spanish and Dutch, and I received the following reply.
“CBF understands (the VAR) as an investment in the soccer improvement, as the product presented to the supporter who accompanies them at the stadium, at home or elsewhere via mobile devices. ”
“It's important to note that any project about Brazilian football involves a territory with continental dimensions, which makes ours the largest VAR in the world.”
“There is talk about the evolution of the system, with a single image review center, which would require a much larger initial investment and, in the medium term, reduce costs.”
“At this moment, the concern with the quality of the show has been proving to be correct. We are improving with each round and video referee approval proves the correctness of this thought. ”
I will translate to the reader what can be inferred from this prolixity of the CBF:
- It is the great distances (“territory with continental dimensions”) that increase the cost;
- For expenses to be minimized, it is necessary to invest in a VAR headquarters (as in Germany, where all matches are accompanied by the assistant referees at a base in the city of Cologne, without the need to have equipment in place). each stadium).
So, if CBF has the solution to reduce costs in the medium term, as soon as possible – without the excuse of not having money for it, because the entity has nothing poor.
In time: There have also been attempts to obtain the position of Hawk-Eye, which takes care of the technical side of VAR in both Brazil and Spain and the Netherlands, on the reasons for the financial difference. The company did not comment.