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Sport

A-League to reintroduce VAR for playoffs

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The A-League will reintroduce the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for its post-season starting Saturday and stage all playoffs at Parramatta Stadium in western Sydney, Football Federation Australia (FFA) said on Tuesday.

The A-League has been played without the VAR since resuming in July after a nearly four-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The VAR’s absence has seen a number of contentious decisions go unchecked, drawing criticism from Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay.

It will be re-deployed for the weekend’s playoffs featuring Phoenix on Saturday and Western United on Sunday, which will be played at closed stadiums due to COVID-19 precautions, the FFA said in a statement.

Phoenix and Western United’s opponents will be one of Brisbane Roar or Perth Glory, depending on the result of Western’s last regular season game against Melbourne City on Wednesday.

The FFA said a limited number of spectators would be permitted for the semi-finals, which will be played as a double-header at Parramatta Stadium on Aug. 26, and the championship-deciding ‘Grand Final’ four days later.

Melbourne City play the first semi-final against the highest ranked winner from the opening weekend’s playoffs, with champions Sydney FC playing the second semi-final against the lowest ranked winner.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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