Football fans blaming match officials for their team’s misfortunes might soon become a thing of post in Vietnam’s top flight football league – the V.League — as it is all set to introduce the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system from June 2019.
The VAR will be introduced in second leg of the 2019 season of the V.League which is scheduled to begin in June with Tran Anh Tu, the president of Vietnam Professional Football Joint Stock Company (VPF) which runs the league, confirming the development.
However, what makes the VAR system to be introduced in the Vietnamese league different is the location where the refereeing decisions will be made.
While the VAR was implemented in the English FA Cup through the VAR hub at the Premier League Match Centre in Heathrow and the 2018 FIFA World Cup via another hub in Moscow, the V.League will not have a VAR centre to monitor all the matches.
Instead, they will employ mobile VAR vehicles where the video assistant referee will make their decisions.
According to VN Express, VPF had two options to implement the VAR.
“One was to build a VAR Centre in Hanoi since the city has good facilities and high quality connections to receive signals from stadiums from afar,” it said. However, this option was rejected by the VPF as it was considered too costly at VND 15 to 16 billion ($644,000 to 688,000) a year and the technical difficulties to receive signals from far-off regions in the country.
The second option was to equip vans with all the VAR equipment to go to the stadiums with each van costing around VND 6 billion ($258,000).
And it was the second option that the VPF is planning to go ahead with.
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Anh Tu said that the VAR can only be used for a maximum of three games per round at the beginning. “VPF chose the second option because it’s more mobile. We have bought minivans and will sign a deal with a professional company to install all the equipment on them,” he said.
“At least two games will get to use VAR in a round, as long as the venues are not too far from each other. And all the equipment used must meet FIFA standards before they are used in official games,” Anh Tu added.
The report further says that there will be two referees and two technical support staff in a VAR van and the VPF will carry out a training course on VAR for the referees in the coming weeks.