New Straits Times


Subkhiddin says Russia is best place to assess new technology


FA of Malaysia (FAM) referees committee chairman Subkhiddin Salleh feels that the World Cup in Russia is the best place to assess how Video Assistant Referees (VAR) can help refereeing.

He said many countries, including Malaysia, who wish to have VAR technology in their leagues, will be following VAR closely at the World Cup before deciding whether to spend money on the technology.

Subkhiddin said the cost of installing VAR depends on the quality of the system, and the cheapest is at least RM15 million.

“Preparatio­n to host the World Cup is a lot different compared to organising tournament­s domestical­ly or even for other internatio­nal tournament­s,” said Subkhiddin yesterday.

“The usage of VAR at the World Cup in Russia will surely draw a lot of interest following so much of reaction, both positive and negative since its introducti­on.

Subkhiddin said many types of training, including “offline”, “online” and “simulator”, have been introduced to help match officials do their work better.

He said many countries will also want to see whether VAR will affect the flow of the game due to the time needed to refer to the system.

On Saturday, the Internatio­nal Football Associatio­n Board (IFAB), which is Fifa’s rule-making panel, approved the use of VAR, following a trial period, for the World Cup in June.

In a poll of local coaches by NSTP Sport, most of them support the use of VAR for the MLeague.

However, many feel that it will take several years for VAR technology to be used in Malaysia due to the cost factor.

Subkhiddin believes that there will still be judging problems despite using VAR technology to help the referee.

He said for example, despite a big profession­al team investing heavily in top players and great coaches, a mistake by any of their players can still result in the team losing.

“It is the same with VAR, which is actually a combinatio­n of technology and human. But in the end, it is still a man-made decision, As such, mistakes are unavoidabl­e.”

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