According to UEFA, the video-assistant-referee (VAR) technology is designed to review “match-changing” incidents, specifically focusing on four scenarios.

These are goals, incidents in the penalty area, red cards, and cases of mistaken identity. Its primary purpose is to assist the on-field referee by identifying “clear and obvious” mistakes.

In the case of a goal being scored, the video assistants review potential offside by the scorer or other attacking players involved in the build-up.

They also assess any fouls committed by the attacking team and verify if the ball went out of play during the goal-scoring sequence.

If VAR identifies a significant error, they can request the on-field referee to use the pitchside monitor for a re-watch. However, for factual decisions like offsides that require no interpretation, VAR informs the referee directly without a pitchside review.

UEFA announce expanding of VAR in club compeitions

The UEFA Champions League will utilize VAR for the sixth year in a row in the upcoming season. Additionally, its use extend to two other European club tournaments, the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Conference League.

UEFA have now announced an expanded usage of VAR in its club competitions. In the 2023-24 season, the system will be implemented in the entire qualifying phase of the UEFA Champions League. This includes the preliminary round and the first and second qualifying rounds. Compared to 2022/23, this is an additional 239 matches.

Previously, VAR was introduced in the third qualifying round. The technology was already employed in the recent preliminary round held in Iceland.

Furthermore, the UEFA Europa League will see VAR introduced from the third qualifying round. This will impact 36 more games, while the UEFA Conference League will incorporate VAR from the playoffs stage. Thus, affecting 140 additional games.

Future plans also revealed

Looking ahead to the 2024-25 season, VAR will continue to be utilized in all rounds of the Champions League. It is planned to be introduced from the first qualifying round of the Europa League. The inclusion of VAR in the Conference League playoffs will be subject to a feasibility study.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Russian Look