According to the International Football Association Board, video assistants will only be used in four situations:
- Irregularities in the case of a goal decision (a foul, handball and offside)
- In penalty box situations where the referee unjustifiably awarded a penalty or not
- For offences that should lead or should have led to a red card
- In cases of mistaken identity over a yellow or red card
Video assistants will only intervene when the referee has clearly made an incorrect decision. If no such decision has been made, the video assistant will not get involved. The video assistant will therefore not be a solution to all controversial refereeing decisions, as some incidents will remain difficult to analyse. Even so, the video assistants will reduce the likelihood of an incorrect decision being made.
The video assistant cannot overrule the referee. They are however a valuable addition to the team of five officials, which also comprises two assistant referees and the fourth official. The final say still lies with the referee on the pitch.