Kuala Lumpur: The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system will be used during the upcoming 2020 AFC Under-23 Championship in Thailand, the Asian Football Association has announced.
The U-23 championship will be the first AFC competition to use the VAR system in all 32 matches, after VAR was used from the quarterfinal stage of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in January, reports Xinhua news agency.
This year’s U-23 championship serves as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, with the best three sides joining hosts Japan as Asia’s representatives next July.
“Asian football is already world-class and we are determined to ensure that we continue to remain a model confederation in adopting the latest in technology and best practices across all areas of football development,” said AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
“We saw the incredible amount of work undertaken in preparation for the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE. It was a decision that showcased the AFC’s ambitions to continuously improve our competitions and the footballing world saw the undeniable success and quality of our match officials.”
“I am confident that we will build on our success and the AFC U-23 Championship Thailand 2020 presents another opportunity to underline the remarkable standards of Asian refereeing,” he added.
All match officials appointed to support the implementation of VAR at the tournament have been trained to the stringent standards and requirements put in place by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the AFC added.
The AFC U-23 Championship will take place across Bangkok, Buriram and Songkhla from January 8 to 26, 2020.