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VAR to be introduced at 2019 AFC Asian Cup

The VAR system would be introduced at some stage in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup

Kuala Lumpur, September 27: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is planning to introduce the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system at some stage of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup to be held in UAE 2019 - which maked the 100-day countdown.

The AFC Executive Committee meeting held in Malaysia's capital city approved the implementation of VAR at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 - "pending final confirmation that all necessary preparation is in place.

"Asian football is determined to embrace technology for the good of the game and we are looking into the introduction of VAR at some stage during the AFC's pinnacle competition - the AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates," said AFC President Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa.

"We saw the VAR first hand during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and it was clear to everyone that there needed to be a great deal of training of officials and investment in facilities to make sure that the system was effective and a positive addition to the game," the Bahraini official added.

For the first time since its inception in 1956, the 2019 AFC Asian Cup will have 24 teams in the fray. The previous edition held in Australia, which was won by the hosts, had only 16 teams participating.

100-day countdown

To mark the 100-day countdown of the quadrenial extravaganza, a ceremonial countdown clock was unveiled next to Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City stadium in the UAE on Thursday (September 27).

Two-time AFC Asian Cup winner and three-time AFC Player of the Year, Majed Abdullah along with the Local Organising Committee Tournament Director, Aref Hamad Al Awani, Anne-Claire Richomme Bergoffen, Marketing Director and Area Sales TAG Heuer Middle East, were joined by delegates from each of the 24 competing nations to mark the 100-day countdown.

The ceremony was held in conjunction with a two-day Team's Workshop currently taking place in the UAE, which aims to equip all 24 participating teams with the necessary tools to ensure a successful tournament through a series of sessions for team managers, doctors and officials, covering essential matters such as sports integrity, refereeing, media, team services as well as medical information, among others.

Speaking at the countdown, AFC General Secretary, Dato Windsor John said: "Today, we celebrate another historic moment in the glorious journey of the Asian Cup - the 100-day countdown to the best and biggest-ever tournament to date.

"We are all determined to ensure that the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 will be the greatest tournament, not only with its scope and scale, but in its impact across the globe.

"With the expansion to 24 competing nations, I am confident that we will write a new chapter and usher a new era of success for Asian football."

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup will be held from January 5 to February 1 across eight venues in the UAE.

(With inputs from AFC Media)

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Story first published: Thursday, September 27, 2018, 14:05 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 27, 2018
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