Posted on March 27, 2018

In cooperation with Al Kass Sports Channels, the Qatar Football Association (QFA) referees department has applied the Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) technology in local matches, as it seeks to obtain the final approval of FIFA to be able to apply the technology inside the stadium in the upcoming Qatar Cup 2018 matches.

The technology has been applied for a period of time at the QSL Cup and Qatargas U-23 League matches, and QFA U-17 Cup semi-finals. In March, the technology was applied in a number of Qatargas U-23 League matches including Al Gharafa vs. Al Markhiya and Umm Salal vs. Al Arabi.

Last week on 22 March, the technology was also applied in the QFA U-17 Cup semi-finals which saw Al Gharafa take on Al Arabi and Al Sadd take on Al Duhail. In a move aimed at optimising the application of the significant technology, the referees department is intending to use the technology in round 20 of Qatargas U-23 League on Monday 2 April. QFA referees have demonstrated a good understanding of the requirements needed to apply the technology correctly, and this a result of the efforts they have made during previous VAR training.

The use of the technology in local matches is an implementation of the agreement signed by the QFA regarding the application of the VAR technology and is a continuation to previous training workshops and a training camp that was previously held for elite referees on 4-28 August 2017 in Tabarka, Tunisia. The use of the technology reflects QFA’s referees department objectives to prepare the referees in the best way possible through training them to use the technology during official broadcasted matches, with the assistance of Al Kass Sports Channels.

Neji Jouini, Executive Director of the Referees Department at QFA said: “The process of implementing the technology is ongoing and is working more effectively now than when it started, especially as we continuously aim to develop its use, in order to reach the required level needed.” He added: “We have seen great results up to now, and the most important thing is that people are starting to accept the implementation of this technology more than before because accepting a new concept in football takes time. I believe it’s best we continue to implement this technology for the time being and wait for FIFA’s final approval before we finally decide on using the technology in important competitions.”

He also said: “The decision to use the technology should be based on the idea of truly believing that the technology has the capacity to solve problems and assist the referees in making important decisions on the field. I think we should continue to believe that modern technology, in some cases, when used correctly, can help in the development of football.”

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