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VAR technology to be used for Malta’s remaining World Cup qualifiers

UEFA to provide technology and resources to Malta FA

Malta’s remaining World Cup qualifiers, will be played under the visual eye of the Video Assistant Referee, starting with the home match against Cyprus on September 1 at the National Stadium, the Times of Malta can confirm.

On Thursday, UEFA annouced that the VAR system will be used in all remaining European qualifiers following a decision taken by the governing body’s Executive Committee this month.

“UEFA can confirm that the video assistant referee (VAR) system will be used, with the agreement of FIFA, in all remaining European Qualifier matches for the FIFA World Cup 2022, following a decision taken by the UEFA Executive Committee in July 2021,” UEFA said in a statement.

“The system will be operational as of matchday 4 and includes all remaining matches taking place from September 2021.

“The initial plans to start using VAR in UEFA national team qualification competitions were postponed due to the logistical complications and risks associated with the COVD-19 pandemic.

“The VAR implementation, which is being organised by UEFA, will be carried out on site at the stadium of the host association, with the use of specific vans supplied by the licensed VAR providers.”

Contacted by the Times of Malta, MFA president Bjorn Vassallo said that the Maltese local governing body of football will not be entering into additional costs to have the system installed as everything will be provided by UEFA.

“I can confirm that Malta’s remaining World Cup qualifying matches will be played under the supervision of VAR,” Vassallo said.

“This follows a decision made by the UEFA Executive Committee and we are hopeful of having everything in place ahead of Malta’s match against Cyprus on September 1.

“Since in Malta we do not have the technology nor the resources to run the system, UEFA has agreed to help every governing body to be able to make use of the system. In fact, for the upcoming matches, UEFA will provide the technology as well as the set-up and the officials who will run VAR.

“I want to make it clear, that the system will only be used for international matches and the MFA like many other National Associations has no plans so far to introduce the system for the domestic competitions.”

The Malta FA president said Maltese referees who are on the FIFA panel will be given training to control matches with VAR in the near future.

“Our plans in this regard is to have our referees who are currently on the FIFA panel undergo training,” Vassallo said.

“Training with UEFA will start as from September and we are hopeful that gradually they will be ready to control VAR matches on the international scene by mid next year.”

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