December 3, 2018 / 12:57 PM / 15 days ago

Champions League to use VAR from knockout stages

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Copa Libertadores - Chile's Colo Colo v Brazil's Palmeiras - David Arellano Monumental Stadium, Santiago, Chile - September 20, 2018 Referee Andres Cunha checks VAR during the match. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - UEFA will fast-track the implementation of video assistant referees (VAR) for the Champions League knockout stages this season, its president Aleksander Ceferin said on Monday.

European soccer’s governing body opted against using VAR this season, despite the technology being employed by major European leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany, and the World Cup in Russia this year.

But Ceferin flagged recently that a report being prepared by UEFA’s referees chief could allow its Executive Committee to revise its stance. It also agreed on Monday to roll out the technology in this season’s Europa League final and next June’s finals of UEFA’s new Nations League competition.

“To be very straightforward with you, we discussed with our colleagues if we can do it before, why wait because it’s hard to afford any mistakes,” Ceferin told a news conference at the end of a two-day meeting of the Executive Committee in Dublin.

UEFA referees chief Roberto Rosetti said UEFA would use the same protocol as other associations but would seek in its guidelines to define the line of intervention clearly.

“We are speaking about consistency, uniformity. The communication is another key part of the project. We have to be very clear and communicate in the best way to the fans, players and coaches,” Rosetti said.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Ed Osmond

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