Asian Cup to introduce Hawk-Eye's VAR at quarter-final stage
This year’s edition of soccer’s Asian Cup, the quadrennial national teams competition, will be the first to use the Video Assistant Referee system, using technology supplied by Hawk-Eye, albeit it will only be available at matches from the quarter-finals of the tournament onwards.
The Asian Football Confederation said today that it has worked closely with Fifa and Fifa’s International Football Association Board “to ensure the successful implementation of the VAR system" at the tournament in the United Arab Emirates starting on Saturday.
The VAR video review system, which aims to provide minimum interference with maximum benefit, is limited to four game-changing decisions or incidents: ‘goal or no goal’; ‘penalty kicks’; ‘red cards’; and ‘mistaken identity decisions’.
Shamsul Maidin, the AFC’s director of referees, said: “We are grateful for the support of Fifa and IFAB, as well as our world-renowned partners Hawk-Eye Innovations - the technology providers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup - and the local organising committee for their commitment to ensuring the VAR system protocols are observed to the highest standards.
“Asian refereeing is determined to embrace technology for the good of the game. Our focus at the moment is to guarantee that the VAR system functions seamlessly - we are committed to achieving the best result with the least interference.”
Last month, Uefa announced that this year's European Under-21 Championship, to be held in Italy and San Marino, will feature VAR, as will the Uefa Champions League starting with the round of 16, the final of the second-tier Europa League and the inaugural Uefa Nations League Finals.
VAR will also feature in August’s Super Cup, the contest between the winners of the Champions League and Europa League, in Istanbul, and in Euro 2020, the 2020-21 Europa League and the 2021 Nations League Finals.
This follows the perceived success of the system at last year’s Fifa World Cup in Russia.
The Asian Cup culminates with the final in Abu Dhabi on 1 February.