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UEFA to Use VAR in Champions League Knockout Rounds

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If Liverpool can get past Napoli next week then today’s big UEFA decision will impact them.

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

If Liverpool make it past Napoli next Tuesday when the Italian side visit Anfield for a match that will determine who advances to the knockout rounds of the Champions League they will get to experience VAR for the first time outside of the domestic cups.

That’s the big news today in European football, as UEFA confirmed that they will fast-track the implementation of video assistant referee in the Champions League following positive results of their technology testing and referee training this autumn.

The original plan had been for VAR to be implemented starting next season, but for at least the Champions League the timeline has been pushed up. For the Europa League, VAR won’t debut in the knockout rounds but will be used in the final next May.

“We are ready to use VAR earlier than initially planned,” read a statement today from UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin on the matter. “We are convinced that it will provide valuable help to match officials and will allow to reduce incorrect decisions.”

A number of other UEFA competitions, including the Nations League final, will also now see VAR used. In the Premier League, the plan to introduce VAR from the start of the 2019-2020 season remains unchanged.