Video review will be used to help referees in the upcoming UEFA Champions League round of 16, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin announced on Monday. Successful testing of the video assistant referee (VAR) system moved up its introduction to February 2019, Ceferin said, having hinted last month that VAR could be used by the end of this Champions League season. European football’s governing body had previously stated its intention to introduce VAR only from the start of the 2019/2020 season.
VAR is already used in a number of Europe’s top leagues, including Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga and Serie A in Italy and was widely seen as a success at this summer’s World Cup.
“We are ready to use VAR earlier than initially planned and we are convinced that it will be beneficial for our competitions, as it will provide valuable help to match officials and will allow them to reduce incorrect decisions,” Ceferin said in a statement on UEFA’s official website, following a decision by the UEFA executive committee in Dublin.
VAR will also be implemented at the 2019 UEFA Europa League Final, the 2019 UEFA Nations Leagues Finals and in the final tournament of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2019.
The executive committee also confirmed that the 2018/2019 UEFA Nations League Finals are due to take place in Portugal from June 5-9, 2019.