VAR set for AFC Asian Qualifiers

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system will be implemented when the Continent’s top teams go head-to-head in the final round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar in September.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) continues to set new benchmarks in Asian refereeing as it will be one of the first Confederations to utilise the VAR in the Asian Qualifiers.

The VAR was first adopted in Asia from the Quarter-final stage of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 before it was implemented across 32 matches at the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.

Last season, the VAR was also used from the Quarter-final stage of the AFC Champions League, the first time in AFC club competition history, and it will make a return from the same stage in 2021.

Additionally, the VAR system will also be used for the first-time ever in the 2021 AFC Cup final.

Through various initiatives and workshops, the AFC has been recognised for its implementation of the VAR system which has been endorsed by FIFA and the IFAB.

To ensure a seamless integration of VAR in AFC competitions, numerous VAR courses and seminars have been organised since March 2017 while AFC VAR Information Officer (VIO) Workshops have also been organised to ensure VIOs are kept up to date on the latest VAR developments.

The VAR system, which aims to provide minimum interference with maximum benefit, is limited to four game-changing decisions or incidents, specifically – goal or no goal, penalty-kicks, direct red cards and mistaken identity decisions.


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