This week’s Nations League finals will have help from VAR on offer. It is the first time a national team competition run by UEFA has used the system.
VAR to be Used at Nations League Finals
Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will be on offer to help referees in making key decisions in this week’s Nations League finals, UEFA have confirmed.
The system featured in the 2018 World Cup and this season’s Champions League knockout stages. It will also make it’s debut in the Premier League next season.
Most recently, the system was used during Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League tie with Manchester City. VAR was referred to in order to check against Fernando Llorente‘s goal, which levelled the tie on aggregate, for handball. It was also used to disallow Raheem Sterling‘s late goal for offside.
VAR could be used to help the match officials make a decision in England’s semi-final with Netherlands on Thursday. The third-place play-off and final are on Sunday.
How Does VAR Help eferees?
The main official in a fixture has an earpiece which allows him to communicate with three fellow officials away from the pitch. Their role is to review footage from the match which offers replays from different camera angles.
The referee can request a view after making a decision, or the VAR team can recommend one if they feel an error has been made or an incident has been missed.
When Will It be Used During a Match?
The system is used to check for “clear and obvious errors” relating to four types of match-changing scenarios: goals, mistaken identity, red cards and incidents in the penalty area.
VAR cannot be used to assist in issuing second yellow cards. Referees cannot say “I’m not sure, I’ll look at a replay”. The technology is used only once a referee has made a decision.
How Do We Know if VAR is Being Used?
Supporters have three ways in checking if a review is being made to a decision.
The referee may stand still and put his finger to his earpiece in order to listen more clearly to the advice given by the away-from-the-pitch VAR team.
Similarly, the referee may ‘draw’ a rectangle with his arms to indicate that the VAR team have referred to the footage to potentially overturn a decision.
The VAR team can also advise the referee to make his own decision by heading to a pitch-side monitor. This is for situations that are less clear.
Supporters in the stadium will not be able to see what the referee is watching; however, supporters watching at home will see the same camera angles as the referees.