VAR set to be used in Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers
courtesy of RTE
Video Assistant Referee is set to be used in the Republic of Ireland’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers, pending FIFA’s final approval.
UEFA have made the proposal as VAR is set to feature more in the sport.
VAR will be used when the Europa League knockout games start on Thursday.
English trio Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolves, as well as Scottish pair Celtic and Rangers, have qualified for the last-32 stage of the competition.
UEFA’s referees committee chairman Roberto Rosetti said the VAR system had been successful in the Champions League this season, which paved the way for its use in the Europa League.
“We believe that VAR is a crucial project for football,” Rosetti said.
“I am very glad that we will now also have VAR in the Europa League, as it will provide vital help for referees to take correct decisions in these important matches.
“We’re very happy with the figures that we’ve seen in the UEFA Champions League group phase and play-offs – in 108 matches in total, 27 decisions have been corrected through the VAR system, which means that a decision has only been overturned every four matches – this shows the quality of the referees’ performances.
“In addition, we feel that the time taken to overturn a decision is important. So far this season, the average time for the correction of a decision has been one minute 30 seconds – 15 seconds less than last season.
“However, I would emphasise once more that – in compliance with its protocol – VAR is only for clear and obvious mistakes, and not for controversial situations.
“Football needs good referees above all – match officials with a strong personality on the field of play, who take correct and courageous decisions.”
Europe’s top referees studied VAR analysis and training at a UEFA winter course in Majorca last month. The officials were also given an update on VAR procedures.
In addition to this season’s European club competitions, VAR is also be used at the Women’s Champions League final, Euro 2020 and next year’s Women’s European Championship.
The draw for the World Cup qualifiers will be held on 29 November and begin in March 2021.