The 2023 Brazilian Championship has a 12% decrease in stops to check moves and a 17% decrease in rulings altered following video referee review.
There was a notable decrease in VAR interference during Brasileirão games in 2023. The number of game stoppages to check the video referee in this year’s edition was 619, which is 12% fewer than the previous year and the lowest since the technology was introduced into the competition. There were 91 stops for traveling to the screen and 528 stops for listening to the electronic point.
VAR was also responsible for a smaller number of decision changes. In 2023, the field referee changed what he had scored, after using technology, 144 times, 82 after checking the video, and 62 after listening to the electronic point. This is the lowest number compiled since 2019 when the tool was introduced to the Brasileirão.
In 2023: 144 decision changes (82 after going to the small screen and 62 with the electronic point)
In 2022: 173 decision changes (110 after going to the small screen and 63 with the electronic point)
In 2021: 154 decision changes (96 after going to the small screen and 58 with the electronic point)
In 2020: 187 decision changes (114 after going to the small screen and 73 with the electronic point)
In 2019: 182 decision changes (117 after going to the small screen and 65 with the electronic point)
The 7th round was the first in the history of the Brasileirão that did not feature any change in decision by the VAR, since the implementation of the tool. Rounds 12, 15, 30, and 37 held the record for changes due to the video referee, with eight each. Check out the details of each journey in the graph below:
Globo’s refereeing commentator, Paulo Cesar de Oliveira highlighted the video referee’s positive numbers this season but also highlighted the refereeing errors that were not corrected by technology.
– There was an improvement in all indicators, which is positive. The most important indicator, in my opinion, is the number of decision changes, which this season was the lowest recorded since its implementation in 2019. We just cannot forget that there were several clear errors not corrected by the VAR, some of them recognized by the Arbitration Commission itself during the weekly program, Papo de Arbitragem – said PC.
– It is unimaginable to think of a championship as difficult and balanced, as this edition was, without using the tool. The technical work, with activities on the playing field, implemented in the final stages of the Copa do Brasil, gave results and showed that this could be the way for VAR to be used by the original philosophy: Maximum Benefit-Minimum Interference – he added.
Game time stopped by VAR
When it comes to downtime, there was also a small reduction compared to last year. The Brasileirão 2023 games had an average of 1 minute and 24 seconds of stoppage due to the actions of VAR – a drop of 6% compared to 2022. See the details for each year since the technology was implemented in the tournament:
In 2023: game time stopped by VAR of 1min24s (total time 14h29min23s)
In 2022: game time stopped by VAR of 1min30s (total time 17h39min12s)
In 2021: game time stopped by VAR of 1min16s (total time 15h10min55s)
In 2020: game time stopped by VAR of 1min17s (total time 20h40min40s)
In 2019: game time stopped by VAR of 1min29s (total time 18h37min)
In the current season, the game with the highest number of stoppages was Internacional 3 x 4 Coritiba, in the 30th round. In total, there were eight stoppages, in a game full of important decision-making, with four penalties awarded and one expulsion. The record since 2019 is Santos 3 x 1 Atlético-MG, a match from Brasileirão 2020, with a total of 10 interventions by the video referee.
Rafael Rodrigo Klein was the judge who stopped the game the most to check decisions with the video referee in Brasileirão 2023: 48 times. In total, Klein averaged more than two shots checked without the ball rolling per game. One of the highest averages of stops for review per game is that of André Luiz Bento, who had 37 VAR moments in just 14 games.
The referee who commanded the most matches in the entire championship, Raphael Claus had 36 stops for VAR checks over the 27 games he officiated.
In 2022, Anderson Daronco led the statistics, with 61 stoppages in 27 matches refereed. In 2023, it showed a relevant drop – from 2.3 stops for VAR per game to 1.8 on average.
Now, stopping the game to listen to the VAR and changing decisions after checking are different things. With so many stoppages, Rafael Rodrigo Klein also leads the ranking of judges who most changed what was decided on the field through VAR intervention, together with Sávio Pereira Sampaio. Both had 13 decision changes, with Sávio refereeing three fewer matches than Klein.
Ramon Abatti Abel showed more confidence in his markings in 2023. Last year, Ramon was the one who had the most decision changes by VAR, with 17 in total in 29 matches. In the current season, the number dropped to just six changes about what was initially decided, in 26 games played.
Role of video referees
As the numbers show, video referees were less interventionist in this Brazilian Championship. The CBF Arbitration Commission selected 22 different judges to act as VAR in at least one Brasileirão game. The main name was Wagner Reway, who commanded the cockpit of 45 duels. See below who else was selected as VAR:
Wagner Reway: 45 games
Rodrigo Guarizo do Amaral: 36 games
Daniel Nobre Bins and Rafael Traci: 34 games
Daiane Caroline Muniz dos Santos and Rodolpho Toski Marques: 32 games
Igor Junio Benevenuto and Rodrigo D. Alonso Ferreira: 28 games
Holding the record for games as a video referee, Reway was the one who stopped the game the most to speak to the field referee about analyzing a play in the match: 74 times. The fifth most selected judge as VAR in the Brasileirão, Rodolpho Toski has numbers close to Reway’s, with 72 interventions. See more below: