Reports: Champions League set for massive change this season
What's the story?
The UEFA Champions League could dramatically change this season as members of the federation's governing body are set to vote in approval for the introduction of VAR from the quarter-finals onwards.
According to a report in The Times, UEFA is keen to use the technology in their premier competition following its successful implementation at the World Cup this summer. A meeting is due to take place next week to discuss the possibility of using VAR from the last eight onwards in this year's competition.
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UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin has seemingly performed a U-turn regarding his opinion about VAR. Prior to the World Cup, the Slovenian publically expressed his concern about the use of the technology and said he was "worried" about its potential effect on the summer tournament.
However, while still disputed, the use of VAR during the World Cup was generally considered as a success. This has led to its implementation in LaLiga for the current season and could potentially lead to the technology being used in the Champions League from February of next year.
The heart of the matter
While UEFA is keen to show that they are at the forefront of innovation by potentially introducing the new technology, there remains concern about its implementation on the biggest stage in club football. A statement from UEFA read:
"UEFA is constantly looking at ways in which it can improve its competitions and we are looking closely at the implementation of video assistant referees that are currently being trialed in various competitions.
We still see several uncertainties regarding the implementation of VAR and we think it is extremely important that the scope of application, interpretation and technological support are clear to all - including spectators - and fully proven.
The implementation of VAR on a European scale presents a number of difficulties in the operational, logistical and refereeing areas. Any decision in this respect would require careful assessment of the available solutions and resources needed."
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While there are still doubts about using VAR in this season's Champions League, it is clear that UEFA is keen to implement the technology as soon as possible. We should know by next week if VAR will play a role in this season's competition.
Should UEFA vote for the use of VAR, it will likely only be used from the knockout stages onwards for the first few seasons. This is due to the sheer manpower required to operate the technology during the group stages when eight fixtures are played simultaneously.