The upcoming AFC Women's Asian Cup is set to create history as Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be used for the first time in India from the quarterfinals stage of the continental competition. The tournament will be played across three venues in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune from January 20 to February 6. The event will see VAR making its tournament debut when the teams walk out for the games from January 30 onwards.
The technology will be used till the final match on February 6 across the two knockout venues -- DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai and the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune. Preparations for installation and setup of the technology have already begun in the respective venues. Apart from the stadiums on match days, the referees' training sites will be equipped with a similar VAR setup and simulators will also be made available to the referees in their hotel.
The AFC is leaving no stones unturned in ensuring the highest standards of refereeing at the tournament with multiple technical tests being performed at the stadiums and training sites before the VAR is officially introduced in the country, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said. During the tournament, six dedicated video match officials will have access to seven different live camera feeds to inspect every action on the field.
There are four categories of decisions that VAR can review -- goal/no goal, penalty/no penalty, direct red card, and mistaken identity in awarding a red or yellow card. The VAR match official and the on-field referee will work in tandem to make the category of decisions wherein either the VAR or the on-field referee can initiate a review. Upon review, the VAR can recommend the on-field referee to overturn their decision in case a clear and obvious error has been spotted.
Alternatively, the on-field referee may choose to conduct an On Field Review (OFR) by halting the game and reviewing footage from the screen which will be installed in the Referee Review Area behind the fourth official's bench, just outside the touchline of the playing pitch. At all times, the on-field referee can ignore the advice from the VAR. PTI AH AH AT AT