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VAR should be used sparingly in the Champions League, says ref boss

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

The VAR system should be used sparingly, as a “parachute” for the referee, when it is introduced into the Champions League for the first time next week, European refereeing boss Roberto Rosetti said on Wednesday.

Rosetti, UEFA’s chief refereeing officer, avoided direct criticism of the way VAR has been used in domestic competitions but said that he wanted to get back to the original idea which was deploy it only to correct glaring errors.

VAR was widely considered a success at last year’s World Cup in Russia but has been contentious in some of the domestic leagues where it has been introduced such as Italy’s Serie A, where officials have been criticised for being overzealous.

VAR will be introduced into the Champions League for the round-of-sixteen ties which start on Tuesday and used for the rest of the competition.

“I don’t want to enter into domestic issues but I want to underline that we need to come back to the origin of the project,” said Rosetti. “We need to intervene for clear and serious mistakes.”

Rosetti said that for factual decisions such as offside or whether an incident was inside or outside the penalty area, a recommendation from the video assistant referee would be enough.

For incidents involving interpretation, such as fouls and handball, referees would be expected to view the incident themselves on the pitchside monitor.

“VAR has to be an insurance for the referee, a parachute for the referee, so my wish is that in 31 matches, there are no interventions,” he said. “If something happens, we have to be ready.”

REUTERS/Writing by Brian Homewood Editing by Toby Davis

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