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.
“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
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
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|
|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|
|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