India will not get the benefit of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup unless they make it to the quarter-final of the tournament.

Last week, the AFC announced the technology will only be implemented in the upcoming continental competition from the last-eight stage onwards. The footballing body had in September declared its intentions to bring VAR to the 2019 edition of the tournament.

The use of VAR from the quarter-final clashes was approved by the AFC Referees Committee in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week.

“The decision to include VAR was only made on September 26 and that has meant a tremendous amount of work has been required to ensure that it can play a role at the tournament from the quarter-final stages,” AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor stated in an official statement.

In total, seven matches across four venues in United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be covered by VAR in the Asian Cup.

The AFC Asian Cup is the latest competition to adopt the technology which was used in all matches during the FIFA World Cup in Russia earlier this year. The technology has already been adopted by top European leagues like the La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga while it is set to be introduced in the 2019-20 season of the Premier League.

The latest edition of the CAF (Confederation of African Football) African Cup of Nations also featured VAR from the quarter-final stage onwards.

The technology has received largely positive reviews since its introduction and is expected to become more widely adopted in the near future.

With the scrutiny on refereeing mistakes ever increasing in the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL), the case for VAR’s introduction in Indian football is growing stronger by the minute too.

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