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Europa League: VAR to be in use for Wolves v Espanyol

By Joe Edwards | Wolves | Published:

VAR will be in use as Wolves host Espanyol in the Europa League last 32 on Thursday.

Molineux, home of Wolves (AMA)

The technology was not used in the competition's group stages, but comes into effect for the knockouts.

Uefa's referees committee chairman Roberto Rosetti said the VAR system had been successful in the Champions League this season, which paved the way for its use in the Europa.

"We believe that VAR is a crucial project for football," said Rosetti.

"I am very glad that we will now also have VAR in the Europa League, as it will provide vital help for referees to take correct decisions in these important matches.

"We're very happy with the figures that we've seen in the Uefa Champions League group phase and play-offs – in 108 matches in total, 27 decisions have been corrected through the VAR system, which means that a decision has only been overturned every four matches. This shows the quality of the referees' performances.

"In addition, we feel that the time taken to overturn a decision is important. So far this season, the average time for the correction of a decision has been one minute 30 seconds – 15 seconds less than last season.

"However, I would emphasise once more that – in compliance with its protocol – VAR is only for clear and obvious mistakes, and not for controversial situations.

"Football needs good referees above all – match officials with a strong personality on the field of play, who take correct and courageous decisions."

Europe's top referees studied VAR analysis and training at a Uefa winter course in Majorca last month.

In addition to this season's European club competitions, VAR is also to be used at the Women's Champions League final, Euro 2020 and next year's Women's European Championship.

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @JoeEdwards_Star

Wolves fan turned Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star.

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