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VAR in Liga MX – How does it work?

Referees’ chief defends the use of VAR in Liga MX despite recent controversies

Roddy Cons
Referees’ chief defends the use of VAR in Liga MX despite recent controversies
Luis RamírezEFE

There has been a number of high-profile incidents in which VAR has intervened and caused all sorts of controversy during Liga MX’s Apertura tournament, as has been the case in many other leagues and countries across the world.

Súper Clásico VAR controversy

One of the most recent polemics came from El Súper Clásico before the international break, in which a header by Chivas’ Sergio Flores was deemed not to have crossed the line, despite images from certain angles suggesting otherwise (goal line technology is not used in Liga MX).

The recent Súper Clásico was marred by VAR controversy.
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The recent Súper Clásico was marred by VAR controversy.Francisco GuascoEFE

The incident prompted referees’ chief Armando Archundia to publicly speak about how the decision was reached, claiming that “there was no conclusive footage, which means that the original decision was correct”.

How VAR works in Liga MX

He also expanded on how the video assistant referee, which has been in use in Liga MX since 2018, is intended to function more generally, with missed incidents, goals, red cards and penalties its main focus.

“We’re going to explain how VAR works because there’s been a lot of confusion surrounding this issue. Since it’s been under the control of the referees’ commission, we’ve tried to improve the use of VAR in every possible way. That means that it’s only used as stated in rule 6, related to clear and obvious errors. That’s the way to use the tool as effectively as possible. In the last few matchdays, VAR has been used very little and I think that whenever it has been used, it’s been used correctly.”

“We’ve improved in lots of different ways. We’re basing our usage of VAR on rule 6, only intervening when there’s been a clear and obvious error. And today, we’ve discovered that the effective playing time in matches has increased because the referees have been checking with VAR less.”

Chivas boss Ricardo Cardena was fined for describing Adonai Escobedo’s refereeing performance in El Súper Clásico as ‘terrible’ and Archundia has called for more respect for officials. “We’re trying to be as open as we can with clubs and coaching staffs. We analyse every phase of play with a view to benefitting Mexican football.”

Liga MX Apertura returns

Matchday 17 of Liga MX’s Apertura tournament starts on Friday, September 30th, with Puebla facing leaders América. Will VAR have a role to play?


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