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VAR to be used at 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates

The Asian Football Confederation announced on Thursday that it plans to introduce VAR “at some stage” of next year’s Asian Cup finals in the United Arab Emirates.

VAR to be used at 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates
Maja Hitij - FIFAFIFA via Getty Images

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) revealed on Thursday that it plans to introduce the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology at “some stage” of next year’s Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

"Asian football is determined to embrace technology for the good of the game and we are looking into the introduction of VAR at some stage during the AFC's pinnacle competition," AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement. "We saw the VAR first-hand during the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia and it was clear to everyone that there needed to be a great deal of training of officials and investment in facilities to make sure that the system was effective and a positive addition to the game."

VAR usage on the rise

Some of the world’s most prestigious leagues, such as LaLiga in Spain and the German Bundelisga, have already implemented VAR, a system that allows key incidents to be reviewed with the use of video replays. It was also used at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

The AFC stated that it has already received approval from FIFA and the rule-making International Football Association Board (IFAB) to use the technology at the tournament that kicks off in the UAE on 5 June.

"We are grateful for the support of FIFA and IFAB and now I have asked the Administration to ensure all the logistical elements and practical arrangements are in place so that we can introduce VAR to enhance the AFC Asian Cup," AFC’s President added.

Next year’s Asian Cup will be the first to feature 24 teams, instead of the 16 that competed in the last four editions.


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