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Uefa to install VAR at Windsor Park if Northern Ireland reach Euro play-offs final

 

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Northern Ireland's hopes of reaching the Euro 2020 finals through the play-offs will not be affected by a lack of VAR at Windsor Park. (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Northern Ireland's hopes of reaching the Euro 2020 finals through the play-offs will not be affected by a lack of VAR at Windsor Park. (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Northern Ireland's hopes of reaching the Euro 2020 finals through the play-offs will not be affected by a lack of VAR at Windsor Park. (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Northern Ireland's hopes of reaching the Euro 2020 finals through the play-offs will not be affected by a lack of VAR at Windsor Park.

Michael O'Neill's men travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 26 for a play-off semi-final and if they are successful, the Irish FA will host the final at Windsor Park with either Slovakia or the Republic of Ireland the opposition five days later.

The winner of the decider will gain automatic access to next summer's major tournament throughout Europe.

At a Uefa Executive Committee meeting this week, football chiefs agreed that the controversial video technology, which has come in for criticism during this season's Premier League, would be implemented during the play-offs as a precursor to being rolled out during the finals.

VAR isn't currently employed at famous south Belfast venue Windsor Park, while Northern Ireland have never used the technology in a game as it wasn't a requirement for the Euro qualifiers.

But Uefa have confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that they will take full responsibility for the installation of VAR at Windsor Park, including all costs, - should the Irish FA require it for the play-off final.

A spokesperson for Uefa stated: "The Uefa Executive Committee have agreed to use VAR in the upcoming European Qualifier play-offs in March 2020.

"Uefa are in charge of the installation."

The Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are still searching for a new manager after ditching Robert Prosinecki, have yet to announce the venue for the semi-final with Northern Ireland.

They have until December 20 to inform Uefa and the Irish FA of their intentions.

Bosnia have played their last four internationals in Zenica at the Bilino Polje Stadium and it's highly likely that the play-off will be staged there.

However, when Northern Ireland last played in the country 14 months ago, the Nations League game was held in the nation's capital Sarajevo at Grbavica Stadium.

Uefa will install VAR at Bosnia's chosen stadium for the play-off semi-final.

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