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Champions League to use VAR from knockout stages this season

Video Assistant Referees will be used in the Champions League from the knockout stages of this season's competition and in the Nations League finals in June, UEFA confirmed on Monday. European football's governing body had previously stated its intention to introduce VAR only from the start of the 2019/2020 season. "If we can do it before, why wait? We cannot afford any mistakes if we can do it earlier," said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin after a meeting of the European football body's Executive Committee.

UEFA will fast-track the implementation of video assistant referees (VAR) for the Champions League knockout stages this season, its president Aleksander Ceferin said on Monday.

European soccer's governing body opted against using VAR this season, despite the technology being employed by major European leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany, and the World Cup in Russia this year.

But Ceferin flagged recently that a report being prepared by UEFA's referees chief could allow its Executive Committee to revise its stance. It also agreed on Monday to roll out the technology in this season's Europa League final and next June's finals of UEFA's new Nations League competition.

"To be very straightforward with you, we discussed with our colleagues if we can do it before, why wait because it's hard to afford any mistakes," Ceferin told a news conference at the end of a two-day meeting of the Executive Committee in Dublin.

UEFA referees chief Roberto Rosetti said UEFA would use the same protocol as other associations but would seek in its guidelines to define the line of intervention clearly.

"We are speaking about consistency, uniformity. The communication is another key part of the project. We have to be very clear and communicate in the best way to the fans, players and coaches," Rosetti said.

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