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Mahdi Ali backs use of VAR

Shabab Al Ahli Dubai coach says it is important to keep pace with technology

Gulf News

Dubai: Former UAE and current Shabab Al Ahli Dubai coach Mahdi Ali has backed the introduction of video assistant referee (VAR) technology starting from Round 13 of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) this week.

Ali, who took over at Shabab Al Ahli Dubai from Romanian Cosmin Olaroiu at the end of last year, has been among the first coaches to throw his weight behind the UAE Football Association’s (UAE FA) initiative of embracing the latest developments in sports.

“By and large, I believe football should be kept simple. But Fifa has taken this decision to introduce technology some time back now and they have shown seriousness in embracing the latest technology trends into our sport. We need to also fall in line and back this decision,” Ali told media at the pre-match meeting on Friday.

“It is important that we adopt latest technology as it can only benefit football,” he added.

As per the VAR system, an assistant referee reviews decisions made by the on-field referee using video footage and a headset. Though still not part of the laws of the game, VAR has been widely used at important Fifa-organised tournaments.