Friday, 12 October 2018

In Netherlands the first steps for VAR to be used in Champions League (8 - 11 October 2018)

Thank to Dutch and Turkish federations, we can gather info about the first VAR seminar for UEFA referees who are about to test the system and apply it for the first time ever in UEFA competitions, starting from next season's CL edition.  

24 UEFA referees from various countries have worked together in Zeist, Netherlands. The reason: next year the video assistant referee will be used the Champions League.

This is the list of participants as VAR instructors:

In the following picture, you can read the names of the 24 selected referees:

UEFA has split the selected referees into two groups: those who already had some experience with VAR, and others who are preparing to use it for the first time ever.

UEFA head of refereeing Roberto Rosetti is extremely enthusiastic about the possibilities offered by Zeist's center.  "It's perfect for our training, the technology is really great, we would like to thank KNVB for the opportunity to be here." He has also clear ideas on the importance of introducing VAR and training for this. "This is very important, not just for referees, but for all football, our goal is to eliminate obvious mistakes from football, this training will help us. We have to speak a technical language.".

Law 5 - The Ref will follow closely the specific VAR training of UEFA referees with updates in due course. 



  1. Sidiropoulos, Hategan and Collum are the selected Elite referees.
    As Philipp wrote, in any case I think that among these names we already have the main VARs for EURO 2020...

    1. It's not a good sign for Sidiropoulos that he is there as VAR. With everything that is happening right now in Greek refereeing and that fact that he appointed to low profile matches, it could mean that his Elite spot is in danger.

      We should check if other seminars will follow and how many current Elite referees will attend them.

    2. IMO it's not a bad new for him. Participation in VAR seminar means UEFA believes in him to act in next CL, either as VAR or main referee (because also "field" referees need some instruction). as he's no previous VAR experience.

  2. Surprised to see Hategan as "limited VAR experience" when he actually was appointed as VAR in Confederations Cup 2017.

    Looks like the criteria to separate is the following one:

    -Experienced: Referees from countries with VAR.
    -Limited experience: Referees from countries without VAR.

    Interesting to see the chosen names. Elite referees without VAR in their leagues and (besides Hategan IMO) without VAR experience in international competitions (referees like Karasev, Skomina or Kassai don't have VAR in their own leagues but they have experience from FIFA competitions), and First referees, most of them with CL experience and strong candidates to promotion.

  3. A summary about Elite referees and their experience with VAR (please correct me if I'm wrong):

    Aytekin: VAR expert (Bundesliga)
    Bastien: VAR expert (Ligue 1)
    Brych: VAR expert (Bundesliga)
    Çakır: VAR expert (Turkish Super League)
    Collum: some experience with VAR in FIFA tournaments
    Gil Manzano: VAR expert (La Liga)
    Hațegan: some experience with VAR in FIFA tournaments
    Karasev: some experience with VAR in FIFA tournaments
    Kassai: some experience with VAR in FIFA tournaments
    Královec: some experience with VAR in FIFA tournaments
    Kuipers: VAR expert (Eredivisie)
    Makkelie: VAR expert (Eredivisie)
    Marciniak: VAR expert (Ekstraklasa)
    Mateu Lahoz: VAR expert (La Liga)
    Mazic: some experience with VAR in FIFA tournaments
    Oliver: there were some attempts to use it in England but a very, very limited experience
    Orsato: VAR expert (serie A)
    Rocchi: VAR expert (serie A)
    Sidiropoulos: some experience with VAR in FIFA tournaments
    Soares Dias: VAR expert (Primeira Liga)
    Skomina: some experience with VAR in FIFA tournaments
    Taylor: there were some attempts to use it in England but a very, very limited experience
    Turpin: VAR expert (Ligue 1)
    Undiano Mallenco: VAR expert (La Liga)
    Zwayer: VAR expert (Bundesliga)

    It would be interesting to know more about English tests for VAR, indeed in my opinion at moment both Oliver and Taylor are the least experienced Elite referees regarding VAR. They were never called by FIFA to test it as well... so one could have expected the two Englishmen there.

    Final note, as Quilava already pointed out, all the potential Elite referees in near future have been called there: Kulbakov, Buquet, Kruzliak and Vincic are the most significant examples of that.

  4. Based on this list, their appointments in first two MDs of EL and observers appointed to their matches in most recent matches, I guess all cat1 referees in the list, who did not have their debuts in CL already, are strong candidates to have them this season (Ekberg, Aghayev, Madden and Massa primarly).

    1. And probably Gestranius, Fandel observing him surley means something. Moreover, great appointments in recent time for Ekberg.

    2. My doubt is about the referees promoted to Category 1 only 6 months ago: Aghayev, Massa, Kabakov... it would be too early for them to get immediately CL. I don't remember if this already happened (a new Category 1 immediately appointed in CL group stage as debut).

    3. In my opinion, referees should handle EL KO matches first before having their CL debut. If I see it correctly, among the mentioned names, only Madden fulfills that.
      On the other hand, this did not matter for Treimanis and del Cerro Grande also had just one EL KO match.

    4. Also Grinfeeld had his debut without previous EL KO match.
      I find a bit strange, that at the beginning of the year, they apparently were not among the best First Group referees and suddenly they are. While on the other hand, e.g. Madden, Bognar, Gözübüyük, Kovacs and Stefanski had EL in February, but neither their CL debut nor Nations League A or B now.
      I wonder, whether the change to Rosetti plays a role in this inconsistency.