V. League to use VAR next season

By Khac Viet   November 1, 2022 | 11:46 pm PT
V. League to use VAR next season
General view of a VAR monitor pitchside before the match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on August 17, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Phil Noble
Starting from the 2023-2024 season, VAR technology will be trialed in several games of Vietnam's national football championship V. League.

Tran Anh Tu, chairman of Vietnam Professional Football JSC (VPF), said the plan to use VAR next season has been approved by FIFA.

"In the coming time, VPF, VFF and referees will work together on VAR. We will import the technology and pilot VAR in some of the games," Tu said.

VPF had previously planned to incorporate VAR into V. League in 2019 and 2020 but it fell through, mainly because of financial issues, a license from FIFA as well as staff and operation training. At the time, to save money, VPF planned to set up VAR in vans. These vans would move to the stadium when there’s a game coming up. However, FIFA didn’t approve this option.

In October 2019, FIFA experts visited Vietnam to assess the situation and gave the necessary instructions to use VAR. However, everything was put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

FIFA sent their experts to Vietnam again last month for general VAR training. If Vietnam can complete the FIFA requirements quickly, VAR would be incorporated in the 2023-2024 V. League season, the first in which the league switches to the European football calendar, in order to synchronize the global schedule, at the request of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

VPF had a huge economic boost last month when it signed a lucrative broadcasting deal with FPT. According to some sources, FPT will pay VND57 billion ($2.29 million) per season for four years of V. League broadcasting rights.

The deal is expected to help the VPF improve the quality of its competitions, including setting up and using VAR technology, hiring foreign referees, training domestic refs and enhancing player quality among clubs.

VAR (Video Assistant Referee) is used to review situations that lead to a goal, a penalty or a red card. Only the main referee will have the authority to call for a video review, and players and coaches are not allowed to put pressure on the referee.

At the World Cup, VAR had proved its use by minimizing controversial decisions. Many major leagues like Spain's La Liga and England's Premier League have been using it since 2018.

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