AFC rolls out VAR to all four new club comps for 2024/25 season

May 29 – The Asian Football Confederation is to roll out VAR across the whole of its new three-tier men’s club structure from the start of next season, as well as the inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League.

At the Asian Cup in January the AFC brought in VAR across the whole tournament for the first time, and was also the first confederation to use the semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) for a major championship.

The AFC said that the introduction of VAR to its club competitions reaffirmed its commitment to maintain the highest officiating standards.

With the AFC Champions League having completed its final edition last weekend, the rebranded 24-team AFC Champions League Elite will kick off this September with VAR being implemented from the league stage.

VAR will be available for Champions League Two from the Knockout Stage onwards. That 32-team competition also starts in September. The 20-team AFC Challenge League will see VAR used in the final in May 2025.

The Women’s Champions League, which kicks off in October, will see VAR system brought in for the Semi-finals and Final.
The AFC said it has prepared match officials via it VAR course in 2023 and that an AFC VAR Information Officer (VIO) Workshop will take place in the coming months “to ensure the VIOs from the various AFC Member Associations are kept abreast of the latest developments in VAR technology”.

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