Implementation of VAR system at UAE 2019 takes centre stage

published on 08 January 2019

Press Release

8th January 2019

With the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system making its debut from the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup UAE 2019, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) today held a media briefing outlining the rationale, principles and reviewable decisions of the VAR.

The VAR system will be implemented in the final seven matches of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 from Thursday, January 24, 2019.

Since the landmark decision in September last year, the AFC has been working closely with FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to ensure the successful implementation of the VAR system.

In addition, a comprehensive series of VAR specific workshops have been organised in recent months to ensure Asia’s elite match officials receive the optimum level of preparation.

AFC Director of Referees, Shamsul Maidin said: “We are grateful for the support of FIFA and IFAB, as well as our world-renowned partners Hawk-Eye Innovations – the technology providers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup - and the Local Organising Committee for their commitment to ensuring the VAR system protocols are observed to the highest standards.

"Asian refereeing is determined to embrace technology for the good of the game. Our focus at the moment is to guarantee that the VAR system functions seamlessly – we are committed to achieving the best result with the least interference.

“And today’s briefing is a timely opportunity to bring everyone onboard this game-changing journey – from the fans, the media, our broadcasters – it is essential for everyone to have one clear picture of how and when the VAR can and will be implemented.

The VAR system, which aims to provide minimum interference with maximum benefit, is limited to four game-changing decisions or incidents. These are goal or no goal, penalty-kicks, red cards and mistaken identity decisions.

The AFC has appointed 19 licensed match officials to support the implementation of the VAR at the Competition, all of whom have been trained in accordance with IFAB’s stringent requirements and have the necessary experience at the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.

For an overview of everything you need to know about the implementation of the VAR system at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, please click here (https://www.the-afc.com/afc/documents/PdfFiles/a-guide-to-video-assistant-referee-var) .

What they said:

Alireza Faghani (40-year-old referee from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Was named AFC Referee of the Year for 2018 and officiated the third-place match between Belgium and England at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia): “The AFC has helped young referees improve and develop every aspect of their game. That ample assistance has seen Asian referees compete alongside the very best officials from the rest of the world. At every FIFA tournament we now see many Asian referees, and we are all undeniably very proud of our achievements.

Ravshan Irmatov (41-year-old referee from Uzbekistan. Holds the record for officiating the highest number of matches at FIFA World Cups with 11. Has also officiated in the CONCACAF Champions League competition): “The VAR system certainly does not replace a referee, the official still controls the game and the players.

“Rather, it is there to support the referee, to assist when there is a degree of doubt over an incident. Having VAR makes a referee more confident. My experience of VAR in the 2018 FIFA World Cup was a very positive one indeed.

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