VAR is Bolivian

Bolivian engineer Fernando Méndez has announced his victory in a lawsuit in Brazilian courts which recognizes him as the true inventor of the VAR technology, now used in almost every professional football competition in the world. He made the development known in a press conference on Thursday in La Paz, alongside Senator Santos Ramos (Movement Towards Socialism).

Méndez has won the case against Brazilian referee Manoel Serapio Filho, who stole the idea and registered it as his own with FIFA in 2015, “a Brazilian referee took it and plagiarized it from me, then submitted it to FIFA…plagiarism is theft,” said the Bolivian engineer.

During the press conference, Fernando Méndez recalled the origin of the idea: He claimed that his team, Oriente Petrolero of Santa Cruz, was denied the chance to qualify for the Copa Libertadores because in a final crunch match, the rival team, Blooming, had paid off the referee to give an unjust penalty in the final minutes of the game.

“I was filled with rage, when I got home I turned on my computer and that’s where VAR was born, putting 6 cameras strategically wrapped around the pitch to be able to show all the injustices and bribes paid to referees”.

Since its initial implementation in 2017, VAR is being used by over 90% of FIFA’s affiliated associations. He also noted that FIFA itself has profited off VAR by selling the technology for millions to more than 14 companies, including Mediapro, the company that installed it in Bolivia.

Méndez successfully registered the patent in Bolivia in 2005 under the name ‘Pilot Project for Electronic Refereeing’.

For more news and analysis, check out our podcast ‘Latin America Review’

By Kawsachun News

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