VAR to be used in Asian Cup knockout stage

The Video Assistant Referee system will be used in next year's Asian Cup knockout rounds in the UAE.
The Video Assistant Referee system will be used in next year's Asian Cup knockout rounds in the UAE.

The VAR system has been approved for use at next year's Asian Cup from the quarter-final stage.

The AFC Referees Committee agreed on Friday to introduce the video assistant referee for the final seven matches of the tournament, which kicks off in the UAE in January.

It will be the first time VAR has been used at an Asian Cup, which has been expanded to a record 24 nations in 2019.

"The decision to include VAR was only made on September 26 and that has meant a tremendous amount of work has been required to ensure that it can play a role at the tournament from the quarter-final stages," AFC general secretary Dato' Windsor John said.

The inclusion of VAR at the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup brings the tournament in line with the African Cup of Nations, which has introduced VAR at the same stage.

VAR was used for the first time at this year's World Cup in Russia and has been included from the quarter-finals of South America's premier club competition - the Copa Libertadores - in 2018 as well.

The A-League and multiple European leagues use the technology while it will be introduced to the UEFA Champions League in 2019-20.

Australia are the defending Asian Cup champions and begin their title defence against Jordan in Al Ain on January 6.

Australian Associated Press