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Russian Premier League to decide on VAR systems’ introduction date before June

The VAR system was successfully tested at Russian stadiums during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup

MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. The Russian Premier League (RPL) plans to set up a special work group, which should decide before June 1 on the date for the introduction of the VAR (Video Assistance Referee) systems at football matches of the 2019/2020 Russian Football Championship, RPL spokesman Sergei Alekseyev said on Tuesday.

Alekseyev told journalists that the RPL plans "to convene for an important session before June 1 to set up a special work group."

"The only issue to be resolved [at the session] whether this [VAR] system will be introduced starting with the first round or in the second half of the championship," Alekseyev added.

The VAR system was used during two first-leg semifinal matches of the 2018/2019 Russian Cup tournament on April 3, namely between Ural and Arsenal football clubs (1-0) and Lokomotiv and Rostov FCs (2-2). The system will be also used in both second-leg semifinals, which are scheduled for May 15.

Alexei Yeskov, the head referee of the Urals-Arsenal football match at the Yekaterinburg Arena on April 3, ordered the use of VAR on the 63rd minute of the match, when Urals FC midfielder Petrus Boumal violated the game rules in regard to Arsenal’s player Kantemir Berkhamov.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which oversees changes of regulations in the sport of football, approved in March 2016 a two-year testing period of VAR systems, which had been already used at football championships of Italy, Germany and Spain.

The VAR system was successfully tested at Russian stadiums during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The system helps a referee to ask his assistants to instantly review a controversial incident during a football match.