VAR SYSTEM, PRESIDENT DUKA: WE AIM TO IMPLEMENT IT IN THE SUPERIOR CATEGORY STARTING FROM SEASON 2021-2022

The VAR system is the next project of the Albanian Football Association that aims to be implemented at the Superior Category. For the realization of this ambitious project, AFA has set up a task force and seminars and meetings have started with IFAB and FIFA. The first seminar was held on Tuesday and Wednesday in the presence of President Armand Duka and Thibaud Nijssesn from IFAB, Bhaveshan Moorghen from the Department of Technology and Innovation at FIFA and Mike Bossler from the Refereeing Sector at FIFA, and representatives of AFA which are part of the working group.
President Duka expressed his will for implementing this system at the Superior Category for the season 2021-2022 and requested from the experts of IFAB and FIFA the necessary expertizes for increasing the human capacities and suggesting the best system which is to be implemented. ‘’We are at a meeting for the VAR system, and despite the different ideas, this has been decided and the decision will be respected and developed. Like all the European countries and beyond that have implemented this system we too have decided to start this process. With your support I wish to do the best system possible because it is something complicated. I don’t think that VAR will lead the game, the referee will do so and this is very important that the referee understands that he is the one who decides. Technology and VAR system are to help the referee in his decision but not deciding what happens in the pitch. The referee decides in the pitch. We should be careful, for our part, in order to implement the system and not make horrendous mistakes that happen when you don’t use well the information coming from technology. The preparation of human capacities is very important that two or three cameras or equipment’s that decide for the off side positions. Our aim is to start implementation in the season 2021-2022. I think to start with a category and I believe we will start with the Superior Category. It will be difficult to have double standards within a championship, so I think that we should achieve the implementation for the entire season 2021-2022 of the Superior Category’’.
The project for the implementation of VAR is foreseen to be carried out in phases, firstly with a working group of referee experts, referees that are already in the system, technology experts, legal experts and from the race sector for following the necessary qualifications and trainings from the assistance program, the approval and the implementation given by IFAB and FIFA, focused on the best practices. The help offered by IFAB and FIFA will be to develop the best way possible the VAR systems for protecting the game and the competitions. In the second phase it is foreseen the setting of the system that will be implemented.
The expertise of IFAB and FIFA will consist in increasing the human capacities and also in selecting the best system, since three systems are applied: on system with a center direction, a system for every stadium and a system with movable mini-van that travels from stadium to stadium. Experts that came to Tirana declared that maximal quality is required in the moment of the implementation and we should be careful with the time limits. They suggested that all the necessary time should be taken in order not to rush things and achieve the best.