UEFA has confirmed it is considering the possibility of implementing Video Assistant Referee’s (VARs) in the Champions League, with ESPN reporting that it could be introduced for this season’s quarterfinals.
The VAR system is already used in several top-flight leagues around the world and was used at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia. After the story was first reported by The Times, ESPN reports that UEFA’s Competition Committee — now a joint-venture between UEFA and the European Club Association — has VAR on the agenda for its meeting on Monday in Monaco.
“UEFA is constantly looking at ways in which it can improve its competitions and we are looking closely at the implementation of video assistant referees that are currently being trialled in various competitions,” an official statement from European football’s governing body read.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who was formally nominated for re-election this week, said in April that he felt the competition was “not ready” for the technology.
However, FIFA referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina recently said in an interview with ESPN that “we’re getting to the stage where the conditions are right” for it be used in European competitions.
Colina’s replacement as UEFA’s chief refereeing officer, Roberto Rosetti, was instrumental in VAR’s introduction at the World Cup.
If the Competition Committee recommends the use of VAR, it would then need to be approved by UEFA’s Executive Committee by a vote in its meeting next month.
VAR’s likely introduction would be from the quarterfinals, with the potential expense and logistical challenges of installing the cameras at all 32 host venues for group stage matches.
The system is already used in domestic leagues competitions in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain while cup competitions in England and Turkey also use the technology.
Roma president James Pallotta criticised UEFA’s decision not to implement VAR it in the Champions League last season following a handball by Trent Alexander-Arnold during the Giallorossi’s semifinal defeat to Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Manchester City’s Leroy Sane had a goal ruled out for offside in their quarterfinal loss against Liverpool, when replays showed the ball came to him from an opposition player.