The Asian Football Confederation will today use Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Asian Champions League for the first time.
The AFC Champions League Quarter-finals match between Saudi Arabian clubs Al Nassr and Al Ahli FC at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar will be the first game where VAR has been used in an AFC Club Competition.
VAR was first used in an AFC competition for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 – VAR was used from the Quarter-final stage onwards. The Asian Champions League is now the third AFC competition to use VAR.
The AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 earlier this year was the first AFC competition to use VAR for all 32 matches.
“Asian referees are already among the best in the world, but we must continue to set higher standards to ensure the AFC continues to be leaders in world refereeing,” AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement.
“So much has gone into the successful and safe restart of the AFC Champions League in the West region and the introduction of the VAR system from the Quarter-final stage reinforces the AFC’s Vision to provide the ultimate stage for our players, teams and match officials to showcase their undeniable talent.
“The AFC has a proven track record in the implementation of the VAR system and I would like to thank FIFA, IFAB, our technology partners, our host association – the Qatar Football Association and all our stakeholders for ensuring our matches are delivered to the highest standards possible.”
Match officials have completed various courses and seminars in order to be prepared to use VAR. The AFC’s first ever AFC VAR course was held online last month and was attended by 104 officials from 19 different member associations.
The AFC said that it had a commitment to make sure that match officials were equipped with the latest developments for VAR.
An AFC VAR Information Officer (VIO) Workshop 2020 was also organised on August 26. This ensured that VIOs understand the technical requirements of the VAR system.