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Russian football clubs might start next season using innovative VAR systems

The VAR system was used in two rounds of the semifinal matches of the 2018/2019 Russian Cup tournament, and will be also used in the RPL qualifying matches, which kick off on May 30

BAKU, May 29. /TASS, Andrey Kartashov/. The Russian Premier League (RPL) may begin using innovative VAR (Video Assistance Referee) systems starting with the first round of matches of the 2019/2020 season of the Russian Football Championship, RPL President Sergei Pryadkin told TASS on Wednesday.

"The current situation regarding the use of VAR systems is that we [RPL] will finally decide on the contractor on June 6," Pryadkin said in an interview with TASS. "We have already made a decision on the implementation of this program starting with the first round, but it must be introduced gradually and in line with its state of its preparedness."

"In case the contractor is able to guarantee the readiness of the systems, there is a chance that all clubs will begin the new season using VAR systems," Pryadkin added.

The VAR system was used in two rounds of the semifinal matches of the 2018/2019 Russian Cup tournament. The system will be also used in the RPL qualifying matches, which kick off on May 30.

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 are already used at football championships of Italy, Germany and Spain.

The VAR system was also 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.

Alexey Sorokin, the head of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2020 and a member of the FIFA Council announced in February that the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) was firm on its path to widely implement the use of innovative VAR systems, including in Russia.

Following the 43rd Ordinary Congress of UEFA in Italy’s Rome on February 6-7, Sorokin said: "It was obvious following a session of the Executive Committee that one of the future directions, which the UEFA pays a particular attention to, is the VAR introduction. Including in Russia and it was particularly underlined.".