UEFA Has Announced VAR Will Take Centrestage At Euro 2024

Official football match balls - VAR referee Bas Nijhuis

If you’re one of the growing number of football fans who would like to see the back of VAR, you might be sad to learn it’ll be on show once again at this summer’s Euros.

This won’t come as much of a surprise as video assistant referee has played a role in major tournaments since it was first introduced back at the 2018 World Cup. But since being launched in the Premier League two seasons ago, VAR has come under increased scrutiny, with a number of embarrassing gaffes leading to some calling for it to be scrapped.

The one that raised the most eyebrows was the incident at Tottenham earlier in the season when Luis Daz’s goal for Liverpool was ruled offside. 

The assistant referee in the studio told the referee Diaz was in fact onside, but a miscommunication over the original call saw the on-field ref fail to overturn the decision, sparking huge controversy and calling into question the processes currently in place. 

 

How Will VAR Be Implemented?

Unlike the Premier League, which uses a manual system where assistant refs must draw lines onto the screen to make offside decisions, officials at the Euros will use the same semi-automated offside technology that’s present in UEFA competitions, such as the Champions League.

This 3D animation shows whether players are offside in double quick time, which helps officials make rapid calls. This is in stark contrast to the often drawn-out decisions being made in the English top flight which can take several minutes to make, frustrating fans and players alike.

Another difference with the Euros is this is then shown on the big screens inside the stadium to provide more clarity for fans, which is another gripe with VAR in England. Moreover, it’s also made available to UEFA’s broadcast partners to screen for supporters watching around the world, so it should make for a less annoying experience all around!

 

Euro 2022 Ball

Many will also be wondering what the official football match balls will be at the Euros. Last year, it was announced the event will use the FUSSBALL LIEBE, which is German for “Love of Football”. 

Incorporating adidas Connected Ball Technology for the first time at a UEFA EURO event, the FUSSBALL LIEBE’s CTR-CORE design ensures accuracy, consistency, optimal shape and air retention, facilitating swift and precise gameplay.

The FUSSBALL LIEBE also offers unparalleled insights into the ball’s movement, aiding UEFA’s video assistant refereeing decisions – much like it did in the 2022 World Cup it deemed Cristiano Ronaldo shouldn’t be awarded a goal after not touching the ball.

So while some (including Ronaldo) may be sad to see the appearance of VAR, it’s clear to see this technology is much more advanced and accurate than the one we see in England which, let’s face it, is still experiencing teething problems.

The Euros kicks off on Friday 4 June and ends with the final in Berlin on Sunday 14 July.