Francisco Lopez has alleged that he was the first to come up with the idea of using a replay system, which has been realized as the Video Assistant Referee [VAR] system at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and is demanding 15 million euros [$17,5 million] in compensation from FIFA, Spanish media reports.
According to the Spanish newspaper Marca, Lopez first brought the suggestion to the Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain in September 1999, which suggested the use of video playback from a control center and be in communication with the referee.
“What I imagined is exactly what is in use now… it’s the same as what could have been done in 1999, including the central booth that receives live coverage of the action. Years ago it was an invention to benefit football. I didn’t want anything… but now I’ve seen how FIFA have acted and their self-interest,” Lopez said, as quoted by Marca.
Lopez claims he sent a request to the Royal Spanish Football Federation as well as to FIFA asking them not to use the system.
The competition in Russia is the first World Cup where VAR is being put to use as a tool to help match officials avoid likely mistakes by allowing them to assess video replays of game episodes.