Hyundai A-League first to use Video Assistant Referees

Shaun Evans

The Hyundai A-League will become the first top-level domestic football league in the world to implement the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system when Melbourne City FC host Adelaide United at AAMI Park this Friday evening to start Round 26.

After more than a year of preparation, testing and training of VARs and operators, Football Federation Australia (FFA) believes the VAR system is ready to be rolled out in professional football.

FFA CEO David Gallop said the historic use of VAR technology in the Hyundai A-League was a significant milestone for the game in Australia and beyond.

“Australia is well known as a world leader in sport and this week we will become a world leader in football.

“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 FOXSPORTS 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,” concluded Gallop.

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.

“Since the dawn of Association Football, there have been controversial decisions and that will continue.

The Hyundai A-League will become the first top-level domestic football league in the world to implement the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system this weekend.

“With the advent of broadcast technologies, referees have been the only individuals that have not been able to benefit from the use of video replay technology. That changes this week.

“The implementation of the VAR system will help eliminate incorrect key match-changing decisions.

“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,” concluded O’Rourke.

“We are very pleased with the very professional preparatory work done in Australia and are sure that with the meticulous training and education conducted by FFA and the A-League VARs will work well in the upcoming matches” said Lukas Brud, Secretary of the International Football Association Board.

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

Hyundai A-League referee Jarred Gillett.

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 (click here for details)

The inaugural panel of nine (9) VARs include current and former FIFA and Hyundai A-League Referees; Peter Green, Chris Beath, Jarred Gillett, Strebre Delovski, Kris Griffiths-Jones, Shaun Evans, Stephen Lucas, Alan Milliner and Craig Zetter.

Timeline to Implementation of Video Assistant Referees in the Hyundai A-League

DATE

KEY ACTIVITIES/ MILESTONES

14 January 2016 Fox Sports gives in principle support to Football Federation Australia (FFA) to participate in the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) trial, if approved by The International Football Advisory Board (IFAB)
15 January 2016 FFA submits an expression of interest to The IFAB to participate in the VAR trial, if approved
30 January 2016 The IFAB provides confirmation to FFA that it was eligible to participate in VAR trial, subject to outcome of The IFAB meeting on 5 March 2016
5 March 2016 The IFAB approve live testing with VAR in football
19 April 2016 Teleconference between The IFAB and FFA regarding the over-riding principles of VARs; displaying replays in-stadia; the VAR trial process and implementation timeline
1 April 2016 FFA hold initial meetings held with Hawk-Eye
18-20 May 2016 First VAR Workshop in Amsterdam, Netherlands
24 May 2016 Proposal submitted by Hawk-Eye to FFA
31 May 2016 Hawk-Eye selected as FFA’s VAR technology provider
31 May 2016 FFA sign the tripartite agreement with the IFAB and FIFA to use VARs
31 May 2016 Update provided to Hyundai A-League Clubs and Fox Sports
2 June 2016 FFA announced as one of six Member Associations selected for trials of VAR
9 June 2016 Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Season Draw released. Confirmation that VAR would be used in the Hyundai A-League 2017 Finals Series subject to successful testing
30 June 2016 FFA submits Competition(s)/match(es) and Stadiums selected for trials, Training Schedule, VAR candidates, Operators & Technicians and the Project Leader & Referee Instructor appointed by FFA
15 July 2016 Update provided to Clubs on likely requirements for “live” trials in non-competition matches at Hyundai A-League venues
9 August 2016 Planning meeting with Fox Sports and Hawkeye
11 September 2016 Referee and VAR training and familiarisation session – VAR Workshop #1
14 October 2016 Live and Offline testing schedule to be used for the experiments with VAR confirmed.
30 October 2016 VAR Workshop #2
8 November 2016 VAR Workshop #3
8 November 2016 Update provided to Hyundai A-League clubs on the schedule for non-competitive trials
26 November 2016 Commencement of Offline Trials and Live Trials non-competitive matches
8–18 December 2016 VARs used at 2016 FIFA Club World Cup
17 December 2016 VAR Workshop #4
18 January 2017 Update provided to Hyundai A-League Club CEOs
5-12 February 2017 VAR trial in conjunction with FIFA GPS & EWS projects at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
13 February Wellington Phoenix VAR Briefing Session
8 February 2017 Update provided to Hyundai A-League Club CEOs
28 February 2017 VAR Protocol v7 and updated Competition Regulations distributed to HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE Clubs
Central Coast Mariners VAR Briefing Session
1 March 2017 Newcastle Jets VAR Briefing Session
7 March 2017 Perth Glory VAR Briefing Session
Sydney FC VAR Briefing Session
10 March 2017 Western Sydney Wanderers FC VAR Briefing Session
12 March 2017 VAR Workshop #5
14 March 2017 Melbourne City FC VAR Briefing Session
15 March 2017 Melbourne Victory VAR Briefing Session
28 March 2017 Adelaide United VAR Briefing Session

Brisbane Roar FC VAR Briefing Session

31 March 2017 Conclusion of Offline and non-competitive Live VAR Trials
7 April 2017 Live launch of Live VARs from Round 26 of Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Season

Offline Trials

Date  Team A v Team B @ Venue
Sunday, 30 October 2016  Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory @ Suncorp Stadium
Saturday, 26 November 2016  Sydney FC v Adelaide United @ Allianz Stadium
Saturday, 10 December 2016  Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory @ ANZ Stadium
Saturday, 17 December 2016  Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory @ AAMI Park
Sunday, 22 January 2017  Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets @ Campbelltown Stadium
Saturday, 18 February 2017  Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar @ nib Stadium
Saturday, 25 February 2017  Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix @ Suncorp Stadium
Sunday, 5 March 2017  Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar @ McDonald Jones Stadium
Saturday, 11 March 2017  Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory @ AAMI Park
Sunday, 19 March 2017  Western Sydney Wanderers v Central Coast Mariners @ Spotless Stadium
Saturday, 25 March 2017  Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United @ Central Coast Stadium
Friday, 31 March 2017  Adelaide United v Perth Glory @ Coopers Stadium

Live trials

Date  Team A v Team B @ Venue
Saturday, 26 November 2016 Sydney FC Academy v Sydney FC Academy @ Allianz Stadium
Saturday 10 December 2016 WSW NYL v WSW NPL @ ANZ Stadium
Monday, 23 January 2017 WSW NYL Training v WSW NYL Training @ Campbelltown Stadium
Sunday 5 February Bulleen Lions U20 v Bentleigh Greens U20 @ Etihad Stadium
Monday 6 February Avondale U20 v Avondale U18 @ Etihad Stadium
Monday 6 February Hume U20 v Hume U18 @ Etihad Stadium
Tuesday 7 February Melbourne City U20 v Bentleigh Greens U20 @ Etihad Stadium
Tuesday, 7 February 2017 Oakleigh U18 v Whittlesea U18 @ Etihad Stadium
Wednesday, 8 February 2017 Melbourne Victory U18 v Melbourne Victory U20 @ Etihad Stadium
Wednesday, 8 February 2017 Northcote U18 v Northcote U20 @ Etihad Stadium
Thursday, 9 February 2017 Bulleen Lions U20 v Green Gully U18 @ Etihad Stadium
Thursday, 9 February 2017 Bulleen Lions U18 v Sunshine GX U18 @ Etihad Stadium
Friday, 10 February 2017 Pt Cook FC v FFV @ Etihad Stadium
Friday, 10 February 2017 Avondale U16 v Avondale U18 @ Etihad Stadium
Saturday, 11 February 2017 Banyule City Res v Caulfield Cobras Res @ Etihad Stadium
Saturday, 11 February 2017 Banyule City Snr v Caulfield Cobras Snr @ Etihad Stadium
Sunday 12 February, 2017 Mill Park v Brighton @ Etihad Stadium
Sunday 12 February, 2017 Old Xaverians v Old Xaverians Res @ Etihad Stadium
Wednesday, 14 February 2017 Wellington Phoenix v Beijing Enterprises Group @ Westpac Stadium
Saturday, 18 February 2017 Forrestfield United v Forrestfield United @ nib Stadium
Saturday, 25 February 2017 BRFC QAS/NTC Women A v BRFC QAS/NTC Women B @ Suncorp Stadium
Saturday, 11 March 2017 Corporate Team A v Corporate Team B @ AAMI Park
Saturday, 25 March 2017 CCM Academy v North Shore Mariners Academy @ Central Coast Stadium
Friday, 31 March 2017 AUFC NPL v AUFC NPL  @ Coopers Stadium

 

Source : Football Federation Australia Website

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