French league to use VAR in all matches this season

August 2, 2018

Photo: AFP

France’s Ligue 1 will use the video assistant referee (VAR) system in every game in the coming season, the French football federation said on Wednesday.

The French league voted in December to adopt VAR and the technology was tried out in the later stages of the League Cup and French Cup and in the end-of-season promotion playoffs.

VAR was used at the World Cup in the summer and will be employed in similar situations in France. The system will be operated by two video officials supported by one or two technicians.

At the World Cup, all VAR decisions were handled by a single “replay centre” in Moscow. The French plan to emulate that approach with a viewing facility in Paris, but that will not be ready until the second half of the season, at the earliest.

When the season kicks off on Friday August 10 at Marseille, the VAR team will be in a special van parked at the stadium.

A video explaining VAR will be shown in the stadiums before each match, but the global rule-making International Football Association Board (IFAB) has yet to decide whether to allow fans at games to see the images VAR officials are viewing.

French football had an unhappy experience with a distinct piece of electronic officiating last season when the league suspended use of goal-line technology (GLT) in January after two “anomalies”.

GLT, which is automated and only used to detect whether a ball has crossed the goal line, will be back this season.