Serie A ready to trial VAR ‘challenge’

Last Updated: 14/02/20 9:50am

Serie A introduced VAR at the start of the 2017/18 season
Serie A introduced VAR at the start of the 2017/18 season

The Italian FA has said it is ready to experiment with the introduction of a tennis-style ‘challenge’ on VAR where teams will be able to call for the use of technology on refereeing decisions.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Italian Football Federation announced it has contacted law-making body IFAB for a change in the protocol after receiving multiple calls from Serie A clubs to give managers an input in the review process.

Serie A introduced VAR system at the start of the 2017/18 seasons but the system has recently come under scrutiny from top-flight managers that felt particularly hard done by some refereeing decisions.

In response to criticism from Napoli and Lazio bosses Rino Gattuso and Simone Inzaghi after fixtures last week, FIGC said: “Italy was one of the first countries in the world to experiment technology in football.

Napoli boss Rino Gattuso criticised VAR after his side were not awarded a penalty for a foul on Arkadiusz Milik during their game against Lecce on Sunday
Napoli boss Rino Gattuso criticised VAR after his side were not awarded a penalty for a foul on Arkadiusz Milik during their game against Lecce on Sunday

“The adoption of VAR by IFAB was preceded by an off-line trial period in the Italian top-flight which generated exceptional results, contributing in a crucial manner to the implementation of the definitive protocol.

“Animated by the same desire to innovate and with the same spirit of service to the football era, FIGC has received requests from numerous Serie A clubs and has informally notified FIFA its availability to experiment the use of the challenge, within the time-frame and modality that IFAB will eventually establish.

“This comes with the belief that carrying down the path we have already started, we can take football to another dimension, gradually closer to the millions of fans, without tarnishing the authority of the referee, but instead providing him concrete helping tools.”

VAR has also been under fierce criticism in the Premier League
VAR has also been under fierce criticism in the Premier League

However, IFAB currently has no plans to debate the introduction of a challenge system as part of the laws of the game at its annual general meeting in Northern Ireland on February 29.

Meanwhile, Italian FA president Gabriele Gravina asked head designator Nicola Rizzoli to brief referees to intensify the on-field review process.

Gravina says this is “to avoid fuelling controversy that tarnish the reputation of our league, which is approaching its crucial phase”.

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Source : Sky Sports