UEFA boss Ceferin says VAR must be ‘clearer, faster’

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA Director of Competitions Giorgio Marchetti and UEFA Director of Communications Philip Townsend. (Reuters)
Updated 04 December 2019

UEFA boss Ceferin says VAR must be ‘clearer, faster’

  • Ceferin emphasised that UEFA was committed to video replay
  • “We need to make the technology clearer, faster, less invasive,” he said

NYON: UEFA plans to expand its use of VAR, but president Aleksander Ceferin said on Wednesday he wants the system and the rules to be clearer and faster.
He told a press conference after a UEFA Executive Committee meeting that the organization planned to ask the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which manages the rules, to clarify several issues.
Ceferin emphasised that UEFA was committed to video replay. He suggested the bigger problem was overcoming the reluctance of teams and their fans to accept they have been fairly beaten.
“Why not go back?” he asked. “Because there would always be teams who think they lost because VAR did not exist. We always complain when we lose because of a mistake.”
“We need to make the technology clearer, faster, less invasive,” he said. “But it will stay... And that’s why we have to try to improve it.”
Ceferin listed problems he wants addressed.
“One is, for example, offside. The line is very thin, and it’s drawn by VAR, so it’s a subjective line of an objective fact, which is a bit strange,” he said.
Ceferin said agreement on handball was also a problem. He said retired Italian referee Roberto Rosetti had conducted a session at UEFA for leading coaches which highlighted the disagreements.
“For me it was strange when we had elite coaches visiting us, all the top coaches of European football, of world football,” said Ceferin. “When Roberto Rosetti showed a ball that touched a hand, half of them said ‘handball’, half said ‘no way’.”
Ceferin also cited the confusion caused when referees reviewed an incident in an earlier phase of play. He cited a Champions League match on November 28. Inter Milan put the ball in the net only for the goal to be disallowed because VAR showed an earlier foul at the other end. Slavia were awarded a penalty. Inter thought they were 2-0 up, but found themselves at 1-1.
“How far do we go, do we check five minutes, do we check 15 minutes?” he asked. He added that, in the past, “the referee never said ‘seven minutes earlier there was a foul so we go back.’ The game is changing and we are afraid it is changing too much.”
IFAB will meet again on February 29 in Northern Ireland to consider potential rules changes to be introduced on June 1.
UEFA said on Wednesday that it will use VAR in the qualifying play-offs for Euro 2020 at the end of March, as well as in the European zone qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, which will begin in March 2021.


Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

Updated 29 October 2020

Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

  • Kingdom’s inaugural race to take place in city while purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is being completed

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix next year will take place on the city streets of Jeddah.
The Saudi Grand Prix appears on the provisional F1 calendar for 2021 that has been distributed to race teams. It is expected to be the penultimate race of the 2021 season, which will conclude
with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.
Jeddah will host the Saudi race while a new purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is completed, which is expected to be in 2023.
It is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s disruption. The first 10 races of the 2020 season were either postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

HIGHLIGHT

The Saudi Grand Prix is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s

The 2021 season will begin in Melbourne, Australia in mid-March and then goes on to Bahrain. It includes nearly all the races that had been due to be held this year.
That means a return for grands prix in China, Japan and Canada, which had to be cancelled because of the disruptions to international travel caused by COVID-19, as well as the debut of the Vietnamese Grand Prix.
F1 has been in conversations with the relevant national governments and all are said to be in agreement the races can take place, unless the pandemic worsens.
In 2018, Riyadh hosted the first Formula E championship in the Middle East in Diriyah with 23,000 in attendance. The second Formula E championship was held in late 2019.
This year, Saudi Arabia held its first Dakar Rally, a 7,800km race that began in Jeddah and finished in Qiddiyah.