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VAR fast-tracked for Champions League in 2019, Uefa confirms


Aleksander Ceferin
Aleksander Ceferin

By Matt Slater

European football's governing body Uefa has confirmed that video assistant referees will be used in the Champions League knockout rounds from February - but it will be VAR with a Uefa twist.

At a meeting of its executive committee in Dublin yesterday, it was confirmed that VAR will be used in the 2019 Europa League final and next summer's European Under-21 Championship and Nations League Finals.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said: "We are ready to use VAR earlier than initially planned and we are convinced that it will be beneficial for our competitions as it will provide valuable help to match officials and will allow to reduce incorrect decisions."

Looking further ahead, VAR will be used in all Champions League games, from the play-off stage onward, next season and at the 2019 Uefa Super Cup.

Uefa is also still planning to use VAR at Euro 2020, the 2021 Nations Leagues and from the group stages of the 2020/21 Europa League.

How Uefa will use VAR will be revealed in January, but it is clear the confederation believes the process can be improved.

Asked if this meant Uefa's VAR would be a variation on the system used at the World Cup, Ceferin said: "Not a variation, a clarification. Our opinion is that it was not clarified enough before: fans didn't know what was happening, players didn't know, we didn't know.

"So we have discussed it with our experts and if we can do it earlier (than originally planned) to avoid mistakes, why wait?"

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