Aleksander Ceferin
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin attends a press conference following the UEFA Executive Committee meeting, in Dublin on December 3, 2018. Image Credit: AFP

Dublin: Uefa will fast-track the implementation of video assistant referees (VAR) for the Champions League knockout stages this season, its president Aleksander Ceferin said on Monday.

European football’s governing body opted against using VAR this season, despite the technology being employed by major European leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany, and the World Cup in Russia this year.

But Ceferin flagged recently that a report being prepared by Uefa’s referees chief could allow its Executive Committee to revise its stance. It also agreed on Monday to roll out the technology in this season’s Europa League final and next June’s finals of Uefa’s new Nations League competition.

“To be very straightforward with you, we discussed with our colleagues if we can do it before, why wait because it’s hard to afford any mistakes,” Ceferin told a news conference at the end of a two-day meeting of the Executive Committee in Dublin.

Uefa referees chief Roberto Rosetti said Uefa would use the same protocol as other associations but would seek in its guidelines to define the line of intervention clearly.

“We are speaking about consistency, uniformity. The communication is another key part of the project. We have to be very clear and communicate in the best way to the fans, players and coaches,” Rosetti said.

Ceferin said he is almost against different confederations combining to host the World Cup. Spain has floated the idea of bidding for the 2030 World Cup along with Portugal and Morocco.

Ceferin says he is also irritated that the plan came from politicians rather than the country’s soccer association.

The leaders of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia have said they will bid for the tournament, while England is leading plans for a British Isles bid. There is also expected to be a South American bid from Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Ceferin says “I do whatever I can to have only one European bid for the World Cup. That will raise the chances of Europe hosting the World Cup.”