FIFA 21: There will be no VAR or empty stadiums in EA Sport's latest game

  • Will Day

With FIFA 21 just around the corner, many questions have been asked of EA, especially regarding VAR and empty stadiums.

EA Sports have now confirmed that neither of these will be features in FIFA 21. 

Although being two of the most controversial parts of the 2019/20 season, EA have said that they will not include this in their newest edition of FIFA. 

Many fans of FIFA have agreed that the introduction of video assisted referee (VAR for short) would be a good one, as it would add a new dynamic to the game. 

Also, it would give fans something to look forward to rather than the same old, same old, like you get every year. 

Empty stadiums could have also been an interesting addition to the game, as again, it completely changes the dynamic of certain games. 

For example, imagine a Champions League final without fans, something we may not have to be imagining for much longer as we are on track to see it this year. 

Often one of the main criticisms of EA Sports is that they don’t often add many new features which excite fans. In fact, the last time a new game mode that was semi successful was The Journey, introduced in FIFA 17 and taken out in FIFA 20. 


Another big criticism is that they only care about FIFA Ultimate Team. 

In fairness to EA, FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) is the only mode where in-game purchases are activated, therefore meaning that this is the only game mode where they actually make money. 

Despite this, it would be cool to see VAR in ‘Kick Off’, or even as a completely separate mode like we saw with Mystery Ball and King of the Hill in FIFA 20. 

In an interview with, certain members of the EA team answered the queries surrounding empty stadiums and VAR. 

Line producer Lonel Stanescu said: “Every year we set out to make the most authentic football experience possible, but we want to make sure that we express football in its best, and purest, form.


“For us that means crowds in the stadium, because that’s what the sport is all about. 

“To that end you will still get the full-on broadcast experience of a regular football match. Full-on crowds, authentic atmosphere and so on.”

Lead gameplay producer Sam Rivera spoke about VAR, and said: “Regarding VAR, it’s a very good question, but the answer is no. 

“In a video game, what it would be adding to the experience isn’t very important at this time – the system knows if a challenge is a foul or not, so we decided to focus on areas which we consider higher priority. 

“That doesn’t mean it won’t arrive in the future, but there are no plans to include it in FIFA 21.” 


If they really wanted to make the purest experience for players, surely they would make it how football is played in real life. 

EA added goal-line technology in FIFA 16, and if ‘the system knows if a challenge is a foul or not,’ then surely it also knows if the ball is over the line or not, therefore not needing goal-line technology in the game. 

Despite some fans asking the question, the bottom line stays the same, there will be no VAR or empty stadiums in FIFA 21.

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