So near, so VAR - Technology eyed for Asian Cup

VAR (Supplied)
VAR (Supplied)

Kuala Lumpur - Asia's football body said on Thursday it was considering using Virtual Assistant Referee technology "at some stage" at the Asian Cup - just 100 days before the tournament kicks off in the United Arab Emirates.

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VAR, used to review major decisions mid-match, was used at the World Cup earlier this year.

The Asian Football Confederation said it "plans" to use VAR in the UAE, "pending final confirmation that all necessary preparation is in place".

"Asian football is determined to embrace technology for the good of the game and we are looking into the introduction of VAR at some stage during the AFC's pinnacle competition," AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement.

"We saw the VAR first-hand during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and it was clear to everyone that there needed to be a great deal of training of officials and investment in facilities to make sure that the system was effective and a positive addition to the game."

Although the schedule is tight, it is similar to FIFA's timetable after VAR was formally approved about three months ahead of the World Cup.

The Asian Cup, from January 5 to February 1, will also break new ground as it involves a record 24 teams, up from 16 in 2015.

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