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Russian Football Union approves use of innovative VAR systems starting this season

Earlier this year, the VAR system was used in two rounds of the semifinal matches of the 2018/2019 Russian Cup tournament

MOSCOW, June 26. /TASS/. The Russian Premier League (RPL) will 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, Alexander Dyukov, the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said on Wednesday.

"Our task is to start using the [VAR] systems in the first round of the championship," Dyukov said following a session of the RFU Executive Committee in Moscow on Wednesday. "Perhaps, this system will not be available at all matches, but the decision has been made."

The first match of the Russian Premier League’s 2019/2020 season is scheduled to be held on July 12, when Arsenal Tula FC is hosting at home Dinamo Moscow FC.

Earlier this year, the VAR system was used in two rounds of the semifinal matches of the 2018/2019 Russian Cup tournament.

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 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.".