Roberto Rosetti explained how VAR will be used in the Champions League from the Round of 16. “Pure uniformity is a utopian vision.”
After pressure from several top clubs, UEFA decided to introduce the Video Assistant Referee technology from the knockout rounds.
UEFA head of referees Rosetti held a Press conference today in Rome to present the change and discuss how it will be used.
“It is not perfect, as this system cannot eliminate discussions in football, because there are always such high expectations and it remains a human being on the other side of the screen.
“However, a few years ago there was controversy over goals scored when two metres offside, which is now impossible. There are still some controversial decisions, but it is a new project and it is still being honed.
“Referees are happy that VAR is being used, because our idea is to support them and help minimise errors. The most important European leagues are already using the technology, from next season the Premier League will start too, and the smaller countries are starting to prepare as well.”
There has been a great deal of debate in Italy about how VAR is used and Rosetti assures the “protocol will not change. The intention is to eliminate clear and obvious errors, because VAR cannot replace the referee. We don’t want to destroy the spirit of football.
“We are working to achieve uniformity of judgment, even if pure uniformity is a utopian vision. In every incident, there must be the interpretation of an incident.
“We want the referee to watch the video with his own eyes and make his own decision. VAR is a safety net. We hope it never has to be used, but if it is, then we will be ready.
“Accuracy is more important than speed, but the pause in play for viewing images is on average 68 seconds, whereas without the review it’s just 35 seconds. That’s a risible amount, so if it helps to make a crucial decision for the result, it must be done.”
Rosetti also warns against players or Coaches who want to dictate the use of VAR.
“Any player who calls for VAR will be sanctioned. The same goes for players who try to interfere with the viewing of the images.”