Bundesliga to officially introduce video assistant from this summer
VAR will be officially used at all Bundesliga matches from the 2018-19 season. The clubs passed a resolution with one abstention at a meeting of the members of DFL in Frankfurt/Main.
The costs will be split among the 18 clubs on a pro rata basis. The end of the current 2017-18 season will mark the conclusion of a two-year test phase in the Bundesliga. Following offline tests in the 2016-17 season with no on-field impact, the video assistant was introduced online in the Bundesliga in the 2017-18 season.
The main reason for its introduction was the desire for additional fairness in the game. Up to and including the 26th matchday of the current season, there have been a total of 68 interventions by the video assistant, resulting in the prevention of 49 clearly incorrect decisions.
The decision in favour of the continued use of the technology in the Bundesliga was taken following the unanimous resolution of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) on 3 March 2018 to officially include the use of the video assistant in the global rules of the game. Implementation is at the discretion of the individual national associations and leagues.
Efforts are being taken to enable the option of a virtual offside line from the 2018-19 season. This requires FIFA/IFAB to adopt an approval procedure for providers of a valid solution by the start of the season. The Bundesliga has so far refrained from introducing this technology due to the lack of certification.
With a view to spectators, the options for improving the communication of decisions within the stadiums are being examined, whether in the form of text explanations or moving images on the stadium video screens or announcements by the referee team.
For Bundesliga 2, a majority of the clubs in attendance voted to introduce an offline phase for the video assistant from the 2018-19 season in the same way as for the Bundesliga in 2016-17. There was one vote against and one abstention.
Based on the experience gained, the official introduction of the technology starting from this summer cannot be guaranteed with such a short lead time, particularly with a view to ensuring the necessary quality of referee training. The one-year concept phase will allow additional video assistants to begin their training, including those selected from the pool of Bundesliga, Bundesliga 2 and third-flight referees.
As was the case for the Bundesliga test phase, the technology costs will be borne by DFL. The 18 clubs will pass a final resolution on the official introduction of the video assistant for all Bundesliga 2 matches starting from the 2019-20 season.