Former FIFA referee Dermot Gallagher unveils new VAR Challenge ahead of the Euros


Former FIFA and Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has today unveiled the Samsung KX Neo QLED VAR Challenge – a new immersive experience giving football fans the opportunity to step into the shoes of a referee and have their say on controversial VAR decisions.

Gallagher, who officiated in England from 1985 to 2007 and spent 15 years as a top-flight official, launched the new experience which challenges visitors to take up the mantle of world-renowned referees to give their verdict on a series of VAR clips including decisions over offside, penalties and handballs.

Visitors to the experience will use Samsung’s latest Neo QLED TV to review the footage in super high-definition 8K, enabling fans to make the right call.

The campaign has been launched following research by Samsung KX revealing that 85% of football fans admit to being baffled by the modern rules of the game with the offside, handball rules and VAR leaving Brits most confused.

The survey reveals that uncertainty with VAR (Video Assistant Referee) means the technology is in third place with 31% of bewildered Brits not understanding when or why it is used. Despite this confusion, three in five (64%) think VAR is a good thing for the game and 41% think it will get better once the technology improves and fans get used to it.

Gallagher who appears regularly as a pundit on Sky Sports News, breaking down the big refereeing decisions from the latest round of Premier League games, is inviting the public to visit Samsung KX and try their hand at making the complicated calls that referees make during each game.

The experience uses the NEO QLED 8K TV range which has been designed to create an unparalleled and ultra-detailed 8K viewing experience meaning football games have never been so clear. The Neo QLED line-up also features Samsung’s innovative Object Tracking Sound technology, delivering immersive object-based audio that moves in-sync with the action on-screen, giving an ultra-realistic, 3D surround sound stadium experience.

Former FIFA referee Dermot Gallagher said:

“VAR will be one of the most contentious elements of the Euros competition, dividing pundits, players and fans across the country . The technology has changed the game immeasurably and it will be the biggest talking point of the international tournament.

“We’re asking those who think they’ve got what it takes, to head on down to Samsung KX and try their hand at being a referee – it’s not quite as easy as it may look!”