KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: UEFA’s referees boss Roberto Rosetti has insisted that video assistance must be applied only in the case of “clear and obvious mistakes” after the European federation confirmed VAR’s use in the forthcoming Europa League ties.
VAR was already in place for the Champions League which resumes this week with second round knockout competition.
Uncertainty surrounds the definition of a “clear and obvious mistake” after a string of decisions in major European leagues this season of offside judgments beyond perception by the naked eye.
Rosetti, officially UEFA’s referees committee chairman and a former FIFA match official, said: “We’re very happy with the figures that we’ve seen in the UEFA Champions League group phase and playoffs – in 108 matches in total, 27 decisions have been corrected through the VAR system, which means that a decision has only been overturned every four matches – this shows the quality of the referees’ performances.
“In addition, we feel that the time taken to overturn a decision is important.
“So far this season, the average time for the correction of a decision has been 1 minute 30 seconds – 15 seconds less than last season.
“However, I would emphasise once more that – in compliance with its protocol – VAR is only for clear and obvious mistakes, and not for controversial situations.
“Football needs good referees above all – match officials with a strong personality on the field of play, who take correct and courageous decisions.”
VAR will also be used at next month’s Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs. UEFA will also use VAR in the European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup, subject to approval from world governing body FIFA.