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Pro football's video review system being considered for 2nd division next season: official

By Alex Park
  • Published : Jul 25, 2017 - 17:59
  • Updated : Jul 25, 2017 - 17:59

The video review system in the nation's top professional football league has been so successful in its first year that it could be added to the second division in 2018, a senior league official said Tuesday.

Cho Young-jeung, head of the referees committee at the K League, said club officials and referees alike in the top-flight K League Classic have all been effusive about the video assistant referee system, in which officials review decisions made by the head referee on the field with the benefit of video replay.

The league introduced the VAR on July 1 after testing the system for three months, and match referees have used it on 13 occasions in 36 matches so far.

The VARs helped referees made correct calls on 10 of those 13 situations -- four that led to red cards, three that canceled goals and three that awarded penalties to teams."

This file photo, provided by the K League on June 19, 2017, shows officials running tests on the video assistant referee system. (Yonhap)
Thanks to the VAR, we haven't had to deal with officiating controversy," Cho said. "I think it has lifted some pressure off referees' shoulders."

Cho said there's a growing demand for the VAR in the second-tier K League Challenge, and the league office will try to secure sufficient funding to make it happen.

The K League has spent 200 million won ($179,400) each on three vans equipped with the VAR system, and 26 referees that have received VAR training are working the matches.

"I think the finances are the most important matter (for the K League Challenge)," Cho said. "If we can solve that problem, then we should be able to have the VAR system in place there starting next season."

The original plan in the K League Classic called for the installation of the VAR system next year, but some high-profile cases of missed calls early in the season forced the league's hands, as fans grew increasingly critical of the quality of officiating.

Cho said the K League continues to train its referees and is also setting up guidelines for discipline in cases when VARs make incorrect calls. (Yonhap)