Players say no to VAR at 2022 AFF Cup

By Hoang Nguyen   January 3, 2023 | 02:02 am PT
Players say no to VAR at 2022 AFF Cup
Malaysia players (in yellow) told referee Sato Ryuji that Vietnam's Doan Van Hau elbowed Azam Azmi in an AFF Cup game on December 27, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Many players in the 2022 AFF Cup said VAR ruins the games and is not always accurate, so it’s not needed for the tournament.

ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) on Monday interviewed four players, Irfan Fandi of Singapore, Kenshiro Daniels of the Philippines, Thierry Bin of Cambodia and Dang Van Lam of Vietnam about whether VAR should be used at the tournament.

"I feel like VAR is important. I have been in Thai League and it helps a lot. But it also can kill the game, so I'll say no to VAR," Fandi said.

Daniels and Bin shared the same point of view. Daniels said: "VAR just slows the game down. I don't agree with a lot of VAR decisions anyway like you can be offside by a fingernail. No VAR for me."

Bin thinks that VAR "took the magic out of the game because it stops it and sometimes makes mistakes too. I believe there's no need for that. Just play the game and enjoy it."

Vietnam national goalkeeper Dang Van Lam said: "At first I also said no to VAR but I think it’s really fair so, fine by me."

Players talk about the whether VAR should be used at the 2022 AFF Cup. Video courtesy of AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022

The 2022 AFF Cup didn't use VAR in the group stage because of many problems. Besides the cost and technical factors, the use of VAR needs to get approval from FIFA. In addition, many referees are not used to operating this technology.

Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and coach Park Hang-seo once proposed the AFF to use VAR at the upcoming tournaments, after the controversial semifinal with Thailand in AFF Cup last year. The federation acknowledged the proposal but still hasn't been able to put VAR into this year’s tournament.

The 2022 AFF Cup, the football championship of Southeast Asia, will take place from December 20, 2022 to January 16, 2023. There's one venue for each participating nation in the tournament, with each team playing two group matches in their home stadium. Ten nations are put into two groups and the top two of each group will advance to the semifinals.

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