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UCL Could Use VAR in Knockout Stages
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli have hinted that there could be use of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League this season, making the introduction of the technology sooner than expected.
European football’s governing body has already announced plans to use VAR in the 2019-20 season and is in the closing stages of conducting tests with the technology.
VAR was rolled out in La Liga this term, following its implementation at the 2018 World Cup.
Speaking at a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday, Ceferin and Agnelli suggested UEFA could jump ahead of its initial proposal, stating that VAR would be in use “at the latest next season”.
“We have started to do all the preparation. [UEFA referees chief] Roberto Rosetti and his team are very good. There are important points of view – the referees and all the technical aspects,” Ceferin said.
“I expect the report in a week or so and then we will see when we can implement it. At the latest next season.”
Agnelli, who is also the chairman of Serie A champions Juventus, added: “At the latest next season also means there is space for earlier implementation.
“We are delighted as clubs with that and we thank UEFA for the work they have been putting together.”
Many have expressed frustration at the lack of VAR in this season’s Champions League, including Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
Al-Khelaifi felt his side should have emerged victorious in a match against Napoli earlier this month, with the game instead ending in a 1-1 draw.
“VAR is needed as quickly as possible. We lost two points because of two errors by the referee,” Al-Khelaifi said.