Four Queenslanders have been included on the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) panel for the system’s landmark introduction to the Hyundai A-League starting Friday night.
Australia’s premier competition will become the first top-level domestic football league in the world to implement the VAR system when Melbourne City host Adelaide United at AAMI Park.
Peter Green, Chris Beath, Jarred Gillett and Alan Milliner have been among the referees undergoing training.
“Australia is well known as a world leader in sport and this week we will become a world leader in football,” Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop said.
“Since the use of video technology was first mooted, FFA has been at the vanguard for the use of the system and we took on an audacious plan to ensure that we could produce a compliant system for the use in the Hyundai A-League as soon as possible.
“This weekend is the culmination of an enormous amount of hard work to ensure that the VAR system is ready to be used for live, competitive football matches. I want to thank our referees, the Hyundai A-League clubs and the players for their positive support for this measure.
“This event would not be possible without the backing of our broadcast partner FOX SPORTS and also our VAR technology partner, Hawk-Eye, who will both be providing the infrastructure for this innovative new system to be fully operational, and for that we are very grateful.”
— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) April 5, 2017
The Head of Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, Greg O’Rourke, is confident that the VAR system will provide great value to the referees, players, coaches and fans alike.
“The implementation of the VAR system will help eliminate incorrect key match-changing decisions,” O’Rourke said.
“Testing has been successfully completed at all necessary Hyundai A-League venues to ensure that the VAR will be implemented according to the official experiment protocol.
“Credit must go to our FFA Director of Referees, Ben Wilson, who has led the project team to implement the use of VARs. His dedication and attention to details is a major reason that the Hyundai A-League is the first professional competition in the world to use VARs league-wide.”
The use of VAR system may be called on by the referee to provide assistance on four (4) categories of match-changing decisions/incidents:
- Goal / no goal decisions
- Penalty / no penalty decisions
- Direct red cards (not 2nd yellow cards)
- Mistaken identity
In all these situations, the VAR is only used after the referee has made a decision (including allowing play to continue), or if a serious incident is ‘missed’ i.e. not seen by the match officials.
The VAR system will be governed by the protocol agreed to by The IFAB.